General Question

missjena's avatar

Are you able to feel your lymph nodes?

Asked by missjena (910points) August 6th, 2008 from iPhone

if so where? I’ve had a lymph node biopsy that was benign but I can feel a lot of my nodes.

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13 Answers

shilolo's avatar

You should be able to feel some nodes owing to immune activation during childhood. The most common location for chronic, small nodes is in the groin. Feel the crease between the top of your leg and the bottom of your belly. Other places to feel nodes are your armpits, neck (front and back) and below your collarbone.

augustlan's avatar

I can feel the ones in my neck all the time, and they get much bigger whenever I’m sick. I also had a biopsy for one of the ones in my neck that is permanently enlarged, it was benign, too. Man, I hated that biopsy…I was awake the entire time!

Indy318's avatar

Are lymph nodes that jelly-bean things that I feel under my chin and neck? They change size and locations sometimes but I usually feel them around my neck.

shilolo's avatar

@Indy. Yes. Here is a picture of the location of nodes in the neck and here is one for groin nodes.

Indy318's avatar

@shilolo, yea I think those are my lymph nodes. I feel them right under my jaw bone. thanks, because I thought they were tumor or something. Under what conditions should I get them checked out?

mssamayray's avatar

your body has a natural response to infection/illness.
it occurs in your nodes which filter out the bad.
they swell when you are sick as the rush of fluids pass through them.
that’s usually when you feel them and they are re most prominent.

shilolo's avatar

@Indy. If one or several nodes get super big and firm, and or you start having persistent fevers, chills, sweats, weight loss. I mean this has to be for several weeks to months, not a few days in the setting of the flu.
@mssamayray. Just some clarification. The nodes don’t really “filter out the bad”. The lymph node system is designed for the body to sample what the body is exposed to and experiencing, and the white blood cells (lymphocytes) within the nodes are the cells which react to infection and cancer. Swelling of the nodes has nothing to do with “the rush of fluids” through the nodes. The swelling is the temporary expansion of the white blood cell population (i.e. the cells divide and also recruit more cells) within the node.

Indy318's avatar

@shilolo, thanks for the insight. Luckily I haven’t gotten sick since the 90’s (cough cough/ knock on wood), so I think I’m in good shape. :-)

cak's avatar

Unfortunately, since I’ve had cancer, I feel one too many! I’ve always been able to feel the ones below my collarbone and in my armpits (hate that word!). I just didn’t realize how many lymph nodes there where and some of the ones I feel…it sure will be nice when they go away! (shrink…hopefully!)

shilolo's avatar

@cak. Sorry to hear about your cancer. You certainly do need to be vigilant about swollen lymph nodes. Best of luck.

cak's avatar

Thanks, Shilolo. Some people get the flu, I get cancer. I always have to be a type A person…overachiever!

gailcalled's avatar

I don’t have enough lymph nodes because the ones in my left armpit were removed with an ice cream scoop during a lumpectomy. So I have to be vigilant about that arm; no blood pressure cuffs, no blood draws, cuts or scratches get antibiotic ointment which I carry w. me. W/O the lymph nodes, one can develop lymphodema – the arm swells up with lymphatic fluid. The worse offense is to chew hangnails and get an infection. Or bite nails seriously.

I feel the ones in my neck only when they are swollen.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Are we talking about feeling them like with your fingers or feeling them, or in the sense of “guys, i’m so high i can’t feel my face!”

I can feel my lymph nodes with my fingers but not with themselves.

Gail, I had to have some of mine taken out too (just a few), and they put a tube in my arm at first to catch the lymph fluid. It was sooo weird. I had to carry this little pouch around, and if I dropped it (like by accident while i was changing clothes it hurt soo bad) Do you know what I’m talking about? It was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had.

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