Welcome to another Ask Dr. Vaughan on YouTube and on Periscope live. We have two audiences here going on two different cameras at the same time the audience on YouTube we are talking about Lymph nodes, swollen Lymph nodes and why they get swollen and what to do about them oftentimes people will feel in their neck a lump and get concerned because lumps go along with bad things and tumors and so you want to make sure that it’s not a cancer, well swollen Lymph nodes are actually a very common thing and people will get them from something as small as just an infection on the skin like a pimple nearby that drains to that area or having an upper respiratory infection Swollen Lymph nodes are famous for going along with strep throat, but also along with mono, mononucleosis the kissing disease So these are things that we see in primary care quite often. A swollen Lymph gland is caused by inflammation. Inflammation occurs whenever there’s some kind of an injury to the body oftentimes we associate it with infection although not exclusively as we learned with inflamed sebaceous cysts that can enlarge and sometimes rupture and inflamed Lymph node you have the four cardinal signs of inflammation which are redness swelling pain and warmth. You get these four markers of inflammation Whenever there’s some kind of an injury or infection. In the lymph nodes it’s no different, and this is where you’re having white blood cells kill or attack some kind of offense now it may be nothing as is the case with a sebaceous cyst. I shouldn’t say actually nothing figuratively nothing Like when a sebaceous cyst ruptures in the skin and you have this material that the body views as a foreign invader even though it’s just sebaceous oil but, it’s not supposed to be inside of the skin and so the the body attacks it with white blood cells and they have these chemicals that come out and there’s also a certain type of white blood cell called phagocyte. phage or phago means eat and so it’s it engulfs whatever it’s trying to get rid of and it in essence digests it, breaks it apart, and when this is going on there’s increased blood flow which causes you to have more fluid which makes it larger, the blood is warm, makes it warm so you get your your warmth and your swelling both from that you also get the red color because of increased blood flow that’s what the redness and inflammation is from and this can happen in a lymph node and in fact it can happen so much so that you can you actually see the redness from the outside oftentimes you can’t, you just feel that’s that sore and there’s a lump there that wasn’t there before Well there was something there before there was a lymph node there before but now it’s enlarged and that’s why it draws attention to itself Enlarged lymph nodes in the setting of something going on like an infection in the skin or an upper respiratory infection That’s fairly normal. You may have enlargement in that lymph node that lasts for a long time. Some people do have these these lymph nodes that you can feel in their neck that just stay after a period of inflammation, and it’s from Fibrosis or a scarring type action that occurs, and then they they just stick around you always feel them even though they’re not inflamed, and they’re not enlarging and they’re not hard We get worried about hard enlarging Lymph nodes because that can be something bad like a lymphoma or Leukemia occurring and that needs to be checked out but the the ones that are tender in the setting of something that should be tender because you have something going on like an infection in the area Those you can give a few weeks to go away. Now I’m not going to tell anybody that this is medical advice that you should not get your swollen lymph glands checked out. Not at all. Far be it from the truth. I would want you to get it checked now somebody is writing in with a question about the words palpable and movable. Palpable means you can feel it Moveable means you kind of move your your fingers around and you can actually feel the lymph node moving under the skin. If it’s not free to move under the skin, if you feel like it is attached, that’s absolutely something to get evaluated immediately because that’s concerning for some kind of invasive growth. Now. I talked a little bit about Lymph nodes draining an area and that’s what happens. We have lymph nodes in the neck and they drain the Lymph areas are the Lymph channels that come from around the face and neck we also have lymph nodes in the axilla or armpit And these are famous in the setting of breast cancer because these are the lymph nodes where oftentimes there’ll be a lump that is from a spreading of a breast cancer, the breast on that side of the body to that axilla and those like axillary nodes are checked, and that’s actually part of a breast examination that a doctor does annually on female patients you know you also have some lymph nodes in the elbows that these as a primary care and former emergency physician I associate the lymph nodes around the elbow with cat scratch fever because generally people get cat scratches on the hands where else and the first thing that you’ll find is that in addition to them feeling sick is this sore swelling around the elbow and then they can drain even further to the lymph gland lymph nodes in the axilla You notice I messed up. I said lymph glands because oftentimes people are talking about swollen glands well It’s not actually glands like the salivary glands that get swollen with something like mumps, but rather lymph node. Now somebody was also asking, actually was Danielle, from Ypsilanti, Michigan who is asking can you get swollen lymph nodes in the groin and absolutely that’s another common location that we check for Lymph nodes is right in the inguinal region or the area where your thigh comes together Let’s see do we have our friend in the back Here are the lymph nodes. Can you see the lymph nodes on Francis? These green lines here represent lymph channels, lymph channels drain fluid from the body or help the body that has fluid that’s come out of the arteries and didn’t go back in the veins and just kind of sits there. It gets drained by these lymph channels which eventually go back into the circulation near the heart and these little green spots represent Lymph nodes in the groin area and you can have drainage of material to this area of the Lymph nodes in the groin if you have say infection in the leg or anywhere in the, I was going to say lower extremities but that’s what legs are You can also get them inside of the abdomen but those you can’t feel because they’re way deep inside and behind the internal organs. These are places that doctors check, surgeons check, when they’re operating on people with cancer to check for spread of the cancer that they’re operating on, of course, if the cancer has spread to the nearest Lymph node that means it goes up a grade Staging, I’m sorry I said grade. I should have said stage because grading is something different So you have stage ones through four cancer and when you have it going to lymph nodes then you’ve reached stage, it depends on the cancer with stage two or three so I hope that gives you a little bit understanding of what this whole thing of swollen Lymph nodes is about. If you guys have any questions you can go ahead and write them in the comments below on the video We want everybody on Periscope and on YouTube to follow us at the Auburn Medical Group Channel and send it to your friends and share it with your family, people who you want to get good accurate health and medical information to and of course you can always write in questions either through the Periscope the Twitter or the comments on the YouTube. Until next time, this is Dr. Mark Vaughan telling you to stay in good health.