Lymph nodes are small,
bean-shaped structures in the body that are sometimes incorrectly called "glands." They are part of the lymphatic system, which
carries lymph fluid, nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and
the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system, the body's
defense system against disease.
Lymph nodes may be found separately or in
groups. 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 can become swollen. For example, if a person
has a throat infection, the lymph nodes in the neck may swell and become
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerElizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine