Lymph Nodes

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lymph nodes can be swollen with infection and diseases such as lymphoma. Dr. Edward Hill discuses the function of lymph nodes in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The lymphatic system is an important part of the immune system. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system, which carries fluid, nutrients and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream. The spleen and tonsils are large lymphoid organs that serve similar functions.

The lymph nodes filter lymph fluid as it flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances. These are then destroyed by special white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymph nodes may be found alone or in groups, and they may be as small as the head of a pin or as large as an olive. Groups of lymph nodes can be felt in the neck, groin and underarms. Many lymph nodes in the body cannot be felt.

When a part of the body is infected, the nearby lymph nodes normally become swollen as they collect and destroy the infecting organisms. Lymph nodes may also enlarge when they become cancerous such as in the disease lymphoma.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.