Articles, Blog

Sarah Says: The signs of swollen glands

August 13, 2019

One of the most common reasons that I see people in my consulting room is because they’re worried about
swollen gland, and usually they’re talking about swollen glands in their necks. I
suspect the reason so many people worry about swollen glands is that they know that they can be a
symptom of cancer. Well here’s the good news: they almost always mean something much less scary. So let’s think a little bit
about what they are so we can understand why you get them, and what you need to look out for basically your glands, or “lymph glands” or “lymph nodes” are kind of like stations on a complicated railway
network and the railway lines are your lymph channels. Now those lymph channels are filled with a fluid called lymph, and they carry the white blood cells which help your
body to fight off infection around your body if you get an infection in one part or if
your body spots an “invader” it activates your
body’s immune system, your defense mechanisms, and they send
white cells rushing to the spot. They’ll congregate at that Station, that lymph node, and that’s why glands swell. If your slim you may be able to
feel normal size glands actually they’re about the size of a pea or a bit
smaller and some of them are just underneath the skin whereas others are buried deep inside the inside of your tummy and inside your chest but those ones that you can feel, are mostly in the armpits in the groin and round the head and neck now, you have title tracks of lymph glands
which go behind there and a little group in front of your ears you have more underneath the chin and
yet more just above your collar bone here. We also
have a chain which goes round the back of your
scalp, right at the bottom there. so there are lots and lots of glands, and actually if you feel one, it may not be enlarged at all however by far the most common reason for lymph
glands to get swollen is infection, and that does cause enlargement. Kids who have a lot of tonsillitis or sore throats, their glands will be going up and down like that all the time. If
you have an infection it’ll often make your glance well very quickly because
your body is rushing very quickly to the spot those glands will not only be large, but
then also be tender now which glands will be swollen will
depend on where the infection is so for instance your whole leg cranes to the limp glands in your groin, so an
infection in your toe could cause swollen glands in your groin. Very much
less likely, breast cancer, or an infection in your
breast, drains to the lymph glands in your armpit so it
could cause inflammation if those ones there. Obviously, sore throats could also cause
swollen glands inside your neck, but so too can say an
infection on the skin of your scalp. Cancer much less commonly causes inflammation. Some
infections like glandular fever can make all your glands swell, some
cancers, such as cancer of the lymph system itself can make all your glands swell but those
swollen glands tend in cancer to be much more slow growing, and they don’t end to be tender
at least at first. So how do you know if you do need to worry? Well certainly if you’ve got an infection and you’ve got swollen glands you
can pretty much always be sure that that’s why you’ve got the infection.
Have a look on if you’ve got a sore throat to find out whether you’ve got tonsillitis for instance which often causes swollen glands and whether or not you need antibiotics
for that. if you’ve got a source of infection and the lymph gland settle within a couple of weeks of the infection settling, you don’t need
to worry, but if you don’t have an obvious cause of infection if the lymph glands swell and don’t settle within a couple
of weeks and if you have other symptoms like
being generally unwell losing weight, night sweats, or fevers, do see a GP


  • Reply Troybilt April 3, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I wish I could visit your office doc : )

  • Reply rafaela stefanou June 2, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Im streching my ear and my gland is swollen this could be the reason of the swollen gland?

  • Reply James Puemape June 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    So my glands have been swollen a long time, particularly on the right side, but it's not tender. Does this mean I've had an infection for years, because it's been like this for years, also my testicles burn, but no STD, Candida do this?

  • Reply xAmosX August 5, 2013 at 4:58 am

    My glands in my neck under my jaw, and behind my head have been swollen for over half a year now. Today new symptoms came in. My throat is on fire, it feels like there's an oven turned on in there, and my glands have darn near tripled in size. This is rather painful, and I've told at least 2-3 doctors about it, and they did absolutely nothing. I'd say the pain is right about a 10. It hurts really badly.

  • Reply j pezza August 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    im a 28 year old man and ive got a pain in my throat when I swallow and my gland under my jaw (left side only) is swollen, it come about after I had a bad nights sleep and my mouth had come very dry, should I be worried ?

  • Reply seventhseance August 26, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    This was more helpful than yahoo answers and google combined….

  • Reply martin September 5, 2013 at 6:03 am

    WOW Dr! Thank you…this is awesome info…Also love your fantastic bedside manner

  • Reply Catvocates September 18, 2013 at 3:32 am

    Wow thank you very much for the info it is indeed very well explained. I have swollen lymph nodes in my neck and really bothers me a lot coz now its so painful and I'm thinking of cancer already.. Thank you for enlightening me… May god bless us all

  • Reply Eoin Murray October 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Thk u

  • Reply O.o November 4, 2013 at 1:42 am

    oh no …

  • Reply Ner0blaz3r November 5, 2013 at 7:07 am


  • Reply Ellie Lei November 6, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Im a musical theatre performer nd my neck glands have been swollen months now, what can i do ? My doctor said i dnt have an

  • Reply Ellie Lei November 6, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Infection but they hurt, nd i cant even talk

  • Reply Shomari Charles November 21, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Okay the gland under my jaw swells and goes away in a matter of a hour or so but it swells only when i eat and it does not do it often its like a outbreak for one or two days no matter wat i put in my mouth it swells then it goes away for a couple concern is since this has been happening ive been feeling saliva in my throat and when i hack it up its really thick regular spit.when it swells its a little tinder but it feels hard im really concerned because its been doing this sine 2011

  • Reply Amos Lee November 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Did she mention that some slim people can feel some of their lymph nodes even though it's not enlarged?

  • Reply Adi Naam December 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I have difficulties on swallowing water and food. :'( it hurts alot when i want to swallow, i tried everything but it didnt work. It has been 1 week plus . Help me 🙁

  • Reply Amp December 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Mine are overly large I've been going again and again to doctors to try and remove my tonsils or find out what it is. I struggle to talk it feels difficult to pronounce words or talk wuickly a lot of the time. My cousin in canada who's a nurse checked them and said i needed them removed.

  • Reply StabbyMacStabStab February 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Well now im really scared T_T… I have a swollen lymph node on only the left side under my jaw and im not sick with anything…it's not painful in any way…no cough or any other signs of sickness… :/

  • Reply Quacob Monoson June 7, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Yeas i have had a sore throat on my left neck and my lymph node there is swollen like a small grape and im the kindof person who over exaggerates about everything and im only 13 and i dont want surgery so i was terrified but now it makes sense i just hope the swelling goes down soon or im gonna reallly worry !! :/

  • Reply Syke June 17, 2014 at 12:05 am

    I have a left gland int he back of my throat that's swollen, no pain, can't feel it. I can just see it. What is this? How do I fix it?

  • Reply kislay gaurav August 28, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I am kislay 23 years of age weight 55 from india, I have this problem for last 23 years. and I like have a surgery for the same. is it possible to be completely normal after surgery. plz. suggest me some dos and donts. thanks

  • Reply Obviously That’s November 8, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I feel like a frog

  • Reply Sadie Rowin June 28, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    I only have one swollen gland but it hurts like crazy especially when I bump it what should I do?? I'm only 14 it hurts bad?????????

  • Reply Glenn Carr July 30, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Simple, elegant, well delivered. I have had a swollen lymph gland in the side of my neck for several years. Could this be due to systemic inflammation or perhaps a dental issue?

  • Reply Dominique Murray August 11, 2015 at 3:00 am

    I have a bump on my collarbone I can see it but it disappears really fast can someone help me

  • Reply mossy1 August 25, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I've been taking antibiotics for infected lymph node on side of my neck. Ever since I have felt tired and depressed and have been avoiding going to work because it becomes so stressful. Is this because of the antibiotics or the infection itself? Is this a legit reason to call in sick?

  • Reply Tremors August 27, 2015 at 8:56 am

    thank you I thought I was gonna die

  • Reply Stewbid1 September 14, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    my one gland is swollen , I visited the doctor & told him how only the one side of my head / neck hurt, he only acknowledged the acne on my face.
    he prescribed me so antibiotics for my acne, do you think it will help my glad too? it's gradually getting worse and moving up to ear pain now aswell.
    I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, so I'm a little startled

  • Reply Mr. Bigs September 24, 2015 at 6:33 am

    Hi umm, I have multiple lymph nodes around my neck and head right now, and 2 really close to each other, I have not had my tonsils out, but I'm kinda scared, need help fast!

  • Reply Rachael Powell September 27, 2015 at 11:57 am

    I recently found a bump on the inside of my neck and its round and I can only feel it when I lift my head up all the way. I'm 15 and very worried. I'm not sure what it is and I thought the bump was cancer but I still have to go to a doctor. any advice?

  • Reply Erik Bethune October 16, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Last time I felt a swollen lymph node, I got Hodgkins Lymphoma ?

  • Reply CrowFoxChannel October 24, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Under my head left side of my chin there is this really painful lymph. When I touch it it hurts very bad. Anyways I'm 14 and cancer is rare at young ages.

  • Reply Denz Fest November 5, 2015 at 3:19 am

    !!!!! PLEASE HELP !!!!!

    I can feel my lymph nodes in the back bottom of my head , on my neck , under my chin , in my underarm and on my groins .

    I have been having this since I was a little kid and until now which I'm 17.

    I have been to a gp and got a ultra sound for all the lymph nodes and he said there is nothing to worry about when the results came back .

    but I am still very worried cause idk if the doctors missed something or not .

    I have no infections or any obvious .

  • Reply Anusha Dhananjaya December 10, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    Hi…. I have almost 3 pea sized nodes in my neck…. I am so worried….. And I just recovered from fever and now again I am feeling sick…. Do I have cancer???

  • Reply Ruby Dawson December 11, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I am only 14 and I have a lump under my chin and has been there for months but It came after I got my tongue pierced but I don't have that in now and it's still there I'm so worried

  • Reply James Marcuz P. Musico December 25, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    hi! I'm james and i'm 16 years old
    my swollen lymph node , well I can't explain where did i got it! but question can i have swollen lymph when showering in a light rain? im scared to! who knows this is a cancer????

  • Reply theREDdevilz22 January 5, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    I've got swollen lymph nodes behind my ears, been there for about a year now!

  • Reply rtxd kavy February 3, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    I got swollen neck glands from the flu

  • Reply Marq Mac February 8, 2016 at 10:51 am

    mine are swollen now mostly on my right side of my head and neck. and I got an ugly rash on my forehead

  • Reply Kelly Parmer February 12, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Many years ago I had a biopsy of one of several enlarged nodes that never returned to normal size. It was benign reactive hyperplasia. Unsure what causes it!

  • Reply 1758game March 25, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    i love you.

  • Reply Olivia Nancy April 6, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    hello, I think I had an infection a few months back as I woke up with a tender optical lump… as time went on it got smaller (size of pea) but I can still feel it… after watching this I think it's always be there but because it hasn't bother me before ( you can't see it and can only feel it when you search for it)

  • Reply subina shrestha May 13, 2016 at 1:21 am

    i had no sore throat and i was completely feeling fine except for a large pimple at left chin, bt i had my right underchin lymph gland swollen a week back !!
    And today from this morning, i'm feeling pain under my collarbones and m not feeling fine at all… a sore throat and feverish !! and I feel weird, lol i put the blanket on it's hot… and If I throw my blanket off It's too cold !!

  • Reply seKweed May 16, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I have two bumps in the back of my head, one on the right, one on the left and i can fell that the left bump is smaller. They are situated on the occipital bone, behind the ears and are hard and unmovable. Can they be swollen glands cause its hard like the bone but i know that i didnt have them in the past? Please help

  • Reply Sathandra Camplin May 31, 2016 at 3:32 am

    thank you very much your information really did help a lot

  • Reply Paybackpaycheck June 2, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    Under my chin on the left jaw bone There is a moveable lump about the size of a grape and its round but there is something by it it moves with it and it has a sponge texture but hard I have seven lymph nodes some the size of id say black beans one under chin 2 around groin crease one on my left side of neck and one small one on my right side of neck followed by small ones in say IM on vacation in Florida and just descoverd it after I had a bruise like pain on my jaw bone its towards the back I felt it and freaked out I rode a plane here on the way had a panic attack and I went to universal studios feeling fine then all of the sudden the ground started to feel as if it were shaking and I had another panic attack I was nauseous and felt like throwing up but I calmed down then I went to the resort to the pool and I felt it and had another panic attack I'm also a hypochondriac

  • Reply taco bell July 22, 2016 at 2:58 am

    I have a weird bumb below my ear and at the top of my jaw just behind the ear and it sometimes sends agonizing shocking pain from the side with the bump to the bottom of my neck and to the other side of my jaw should I be concerned

  • Reply Holly K August 1, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I'm too scared that it's cancer

  • Reply fanaticduo September 18, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Um is this Swollen Glands?
    i have one under right of my Chin?
    and back right of my neck? pls

  • Reply Steve G December 17, 2016 at 6:12 am

    I find your video confusing.. You call them swollen glands but don't distinguish between submandibular (salivary) glands and lymph nodes in the area you point to.

    I have swollen glands and I've had them for years and they certainly aren't lymph nodes as you are suggesting. These are about the size of brazil nuts and they go up and down up and down up and down on a daily or even hourly basis and clearly visible in the mirror and to anybody looking at me. Sometimes they even return to normal size.

    Where is the distinction? You have merged them all in together as all the same thing when they are completely separate systems.

  • Reply major cappone December 26, 2016 at 11:13 am

    When she said about the glands going up and down I felt them moving made me jitter

  • Reply EnchantedMS January 31, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    So I have a swollen lymph node in the area of my ear I have no sore throat. It swelled up in October but then it went down. Then at the around December it swelled I have lost some weight I get nauseas really bad stomachaches my bones sometimes start to ache well the doctor said it's a stomach bug nothing to worry about but she said if it gets tender than to take me back (it was hard when I went ) so it's January it hurts really bad I've been bruising the lymph node is very tender sometimes I get like a weird kinda tingling pain it's weird I get very tired. Idk what's going on but I am supposes to go to the hospital yea lol

  • Reply M1KE FEAR February 18, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I just had mine at a young adult after a very common Cold and god it's extremely hard to sleep when you have the coughing at the same time I've just got a swollen gland

  • Reply Abbie Pownall February 18, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    i have swollen gs im scared im only 13

  • Reply Frank Walker February 19, 2017 at 10:46 am


  • Reply Ella Kim February 24, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    I have a bump right under my jawline and its movable and i'm really really scared. Please help me

  • Reply Trever P March 17, 2017 at 11:03 pm

    Can anyone help? I don't know if one of my glands on my neck are swollen but I can feel a bump inside the right side of my neck but can't feel anything on my left side. I'm 21 and 230 lbs and 6 foot. Would really appreciate if some one could get back to me

  • Reply Jessica May 2, 2017 at 5:12 am

    Very helpful video. Thank you.

  • Reply Forsaken Terratoma May 14, 2017 at 1:26 am

    I have a large lump underneath my jaw at the back. It feels quite painful to touch but not unbearable, I suspect this to be a swollen gland because I have had a cold for a while now and suspect that my throat is becoming sore again. If it doesn't heal within a week or so then I'm going to consult my doctor.

    If anyone else has the same thing then don't feel worried, in most case scenarios it isn't cancer. I occasionally have spots appear under my arm pits that disappear in a few days. I can't say I have had them anywhere else though.

  • Reply lim yoen May 28, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    i have many like 6 swollens in my side neck which it left and right. and i check to doctor said that i had tbc and now i got better to my lungs cuz i drinking medicine for 9 months but my swollen still there and they dont want get better or get small like before. so what do you think guys about this? please reply. thx

  • Reply CoryDRoss June 4, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    I'm scared that it's hiv

  • Reply Red rock Gaming June 9, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    I watched this video because I have swollen glands but I don't have tonsils so I can't have tonsillitis

  • Reply elma kunic June 13, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    i hv a swore throat so im good

  • Reply Bisma June 23, 2017 at 2:56 am

    This was such a nice video. Very educational but straight to the point!

  • Reply Lala Johnson June 27, 2017 at 1:26 am

    You might hust be having a anxiety attack thats how my throat feels when i have them from i swallowed a ball and its stuck in my thriat it comes then gose when you worry to make it disapear you have to use mind over matter breath and stop worrien sometimes you bidy will warn you befor you even know you worrien….weird!

  • Reply TheHoboNoob June 30, 2017 at 5:38 am

    I hate swollen Glands when I got sick it got to the size of a nickel and it hurt to talk and eat.

  • Reply aidan brampton July 28, 2017 at 2:16 am

    If I have tonsillitis can I still get cancer . My glands are swollen

  • Reply Garlic Bread August 16, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    I need to go to the doctor in a half hour for my glands i am really scared i have been really hot during nights as well and been really ill…

  • Reply Music Media August 19, 2017 at 5:42 am

    I'm so scared cancer

  • Reply Just that random youtube account September 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I have swollen glands and it hurts when I eat/drink/talk/swallow/talk/breath when will the swelling stop

  • Reply tej longwa October 4, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    I have lymph gland nodes in my neck

  • Reply Sheree Hardin October 12, 2017 at 5:41 am

    my swollen spot is on the front of my neck, not on the sides-.- It's not even inside my throat….it's on the outside and feels like a bruise. At first it was just my tonsil being sore like a normal sore throat…now idk what's goin on lol.

  • Reply Joe Smythe November 14, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Are submandibular glands considered lymph glands? Last week I actually felt them enlarge(both sides under rear of lower jaw), were fully swollen for a short time, and with 36 hrs or so they were back to normal. This happened earlier in the year and I went to the doctor, but by then they were normal. He didn't have a reason for this? What's going on??

  • Reply stapleshooter November 22, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Is it normal if it hurts when I touch it?

  • Reply Sara Prio December 6, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    I have a swollen lymph node all over my body like my armpits and my neck and jaw and all the doctors told me it's a swollen lymph node and there is not any treatment for it which I know it's a flat-out lie. It makes me extremely sad to know that they are growing in size and one of my swollen lymph node around my jaw has grown to 10 cm and just the thought that one day it can get serious is killing me. I spend every day of my life thinking and hating myself for what has happened to me. I know for a fact that my health has been neglected and doctors failed to treat me. It is very inhumane for a country such as Canada to treat a patient especially young women like me that way. I Wish I never ever came to this bloody country because I know sooner or later I will die anyway. I don't know what satisfaction they get from seeing me ill and in a poor condition. I have been feeling incredibly unwell and sick for an entire 2 years and they just send me for a diagnostic imaging without actually implementing a plan and addressing my medical issues. I have been experiencing night sweat, nausea, vomiting, pain in my back and severe weight loss to the point that I barely have any meat on my body. I guess my life does not matter. xxx

  • Reply Sara Prio December 9, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    I have been seeing numerous doctors for the past 2 years because I much rather be safe than sorry but now that I know my health has been neglected, I consider death as an ultimate solution. Maybe one day God can give me all the peace and happiness that I did not deserve on this earth. Amen to that. xx

  • Reply Sara Prio December 11, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    I wish I never ever stepped a foot in this bloody country because everything is for white people. Discrimination is fucking killing me. I used to be in a healthcare field and we have a free healthcare in Canada but I can't believe there is no fucking healthcare for me. I know sooner or later my body will give up on me due to my severe unexplained weight loss and mistreatment of all these bastard doctors that they have given me. Fuck this country and this bastard society. I have to beg for the most basic right after living here for decades. I wish I know what satisfaction they possibly get from sucking the life out of me. I will ascertain yall that Canada population are fucking trash. I'm just like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode, death is an ultimate freedom for me. xx

  • Reply Sara Prio December 12, 2017 at 12:20 am

    For those who may have the same symptom as I do, I think Dr assisted suicide is a way to go.

  • Reply Sara Prio December 13, 2017 at 6:10 am

    What test can be done to find out the reason of swollen lymph glands? can anybody tell me, please?

  • Reply Lillian walton December 22, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    I'll getting terrified I can't hardly breathe it feel like I'm suffocating and I'm getting dizzy all the time

  • Reply jack jones December 29, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Thank you. I have the common cold and when I sneeze it hurts, I knew it was due to the cold and was curious as to why…… you're the only person who explained it without saying cancer lol thanks

  • Reply Johnny Cage January 1, 2018 at 11:42 pm

    Like' if you have swollen glands watching this

  • Reply Lttl Mx January 23, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    I have swollen lymph node its above my collar bone and i before it happen i fall from my bed. I dont know i have stiff neck for 3 days and i dont have fever.

  • Reply Adam Adzmou January 31, 2018 at 6:35 am

    she is hot

  • Reply Steve March 14, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    I breathed in some mold spores 3 weeks ago and had breathing problems that night. The breathing problems went quickly but I have had sore glands and headaches since. Do I need to do anything?

  • Reply Steve April 19, 2018 at 7:31 am

    I have had tightness in my throat constantly right at about the indentation where you would put a hole if you were choking if you know what I mean lol its been driving me crazy.

  • Reply nuh aila June 10, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    When i swallow i feel just there is smth in my throat …. And it is bothering me

  • Reply Ernesto Tamayo July 15, 2018 at 7:51 am

    I been having sinus congestion for a while then developed swallowing issues where I have to automatically swallow. Can This be related ?

  • Reply Louie Voi De Vera July 24, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    I have swollen lymph node in my right lower jaw. tsk

  • Reply XRetroSmileyX August 15, 2018 at 1:06 am

    Mines is in the left, underneath the chin and its so bad cause im in so much pain and it hurts so swallow

  • Reply Art Tuber-pk September 17, 2018 at 6:36 am

    I have allergy and i have a cat at home which keeps me allergic all the time all the time sneezing and have flu because of that..and now i feel discomfort in my lymph nodes they arent swollen but i definately feel some ot because im allergic to cats dander? Im confused

  • Reply Art Tuber-pk September 17, 2018 at 6:39 am

    Does sinisitus also cause swelling in lymph nodes..if i eat something sore or too cold i feel a little discomfort in my right lymph node.its happening after i suffered from mumps. It never happened before that

  • Reply Doris White September 23, 2018 at 12:48 am

    Thank you.

  • Reply Sonya Jeff` Sue November 13, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    God bless.

  • Reply Andra Fowler December 12, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    What about behind the ear its not tender no pain

  • Reply Glow Bright December 24, 2018 at 2:15 am

    I have a swollen lymph node on the right side under my ear. Just only one!! I'm so scared. It's been here for months! It doesn't move and no pain. I just lost 130 pounds. I had weight loss surgery. I now weigh 115 pounds. I should be full of energy. But noooo!! I'm sleepy every day all day!! I'm so scared!!!

  • Reply Shameem Hindustani December 24, 2018 at 5:15 am

    Nice….Mam please make A Video On Vitamin and minerals.

  • Reply Michael Gavin January 14, 2019 at 12:39 am

    It's hurts me right now too even swallow, feels bruised and swollen, so painful, also really hungry because it's hurts to swallow anything ?

  • Reply Sammie the sassy dog February 25, 2019 at 11:07 pm

    What if they swell huge but only when u eat. No matter what kind of food even one bite only. Still swolle

  • Leave a Reply