SWOLLEN GLANDS

Grandparents are especially good at finding knots in the neck and worrying about them. While it is true that the most common way to find a childhood cancer is by finding a knot in the neck, it is also true that all children have knots in their neck and the average pediatrician will only find one cancer every 8 to 15 years by this method. The knots are actually lymph nodes not glands. Lymph nodes are collections of white blood cells that fight infection and prevent it from spreading through out your body. Lymph nodes swell with all infections and go down to normal size (peanut size) when the infection is gone. Occasionally frequent or long lasting infections may make the lymph node scar and stay a little bigger than usual (but still smaller than an olive). Any knot in the neck (or anywhere for that matter) larger than olive, that is growing, that hurts or that is NOT easily moveable should be brought to the attention of your doctor.

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