Swollen Lymph Nodes: Normal, infection or malignancy?

Parents are concerned about swollen lymph nodes in their children's necks or scalps. Most of the time, these are normal. Occasionally, they ...

Question

Dr. Greene, our 7 month old daughter Elise has had swollen lymph nodes in the back of her neck and head for about 3 months. They said that she could be getting over an infection (she has only been sick once and that was last week). Well, they have not gotten any smaller, and her hemoglobin was 11.3. The doctors think it is nothing. Correct me if I am wrong, but this sounds much more serious.

She is in the 95th percentile for length, but 50th percentile for weight. She has a humongous appetite, but is very thin. She is active and has been pulling herself up and standing alone along furniture since she was 6 months old. She has always been a happy, healthy baby.

I have looked up these conditions on the net (anemia, swollen glands) and found them similar to those of lymphocytic leukemia. What type of tests need to be run on her to rule this out? Also what other problems could these symptoms indicate?

After losing my mother to cancer at a very young age due to initial misdiagnosis, I do not want to take any chances with my beautiful little girl. When my mother went in with pain in her liver area, they didn’t even think of cancer. They sent her home with pain pills only to find a few months later it was cancer. By then it was too late. That is also why I am so worried. Please give me all the information you can.
Shelley Haukoos – Industrial Lab Tech – Hibbing, Minnesota

Dr. Greene's Answer

Almost every day, Shelley, concerned parents ask me about lumps in their children’s necks or scalps. Most of the time, these turn out to be normal. Occasionally, though, they are an early sign of a serious infection or malignancy. No wonder, then, lymph nodes are such a cause of concern — particularly for those who have had a previous experience with cancer. All of us have hundreds of lymph nodes scattered throughout our bodies as a critical part of our immune systems. This network of nodes functions as a powerful, intelligent filtration system to keep the insides of our bodies clean and healthy.

What Are Swollen Lymph Nodes?

Tiny vessels called lymph vessels carry germs, foreign particles, and unhealthy or malignant cells to the lymph nodes, where they are trapped. Active lymph nodes enlarge as they attempt to destroy the unwelcome material.

The lymph nodes also function as schools. Lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, study the foreign material so that they can produce antibodies, killer cells, and other substances to protect the body from the threat.

Sometimes the lymph nodes are overwhelmed in the process. Our defenders can be taken over by a cancer or an infection. These enlarged nodes can become a refuge where the invaders can hide and proliferate.

In a newborn infant, the lymph nodes are often small enough and soft enough not to be felt. But by the time a baby is several months old, healthy, growing, learning lymph nodes are frequently obvious enough to be noticed by parents — to their alarm.

When evaluating enlarged lymph nodes the first consideration is whether these nodes are localized (in one or two adjacent regions of the body) or generalized (spread throughout the body, often including the spleen — the largest lymph node — which is found just under the rib cage in the left upper part of the abdomen). Generalized enlarged lymph nodes suggest that the body is responding to a whole-body problem, such as an infection (bacterial, viral, or fungal), an autoimmune disease (arthritis or lupus), a drug reaction, or a malignancy such as leukemia. The infection might be very mild, or might be as serious as HIV.

Localized enlarged lymph nodes are responding to events in the part of the body filtered by those nodes. A scratch on the finger can produce swollen nodes at the elbow and /or the armpit. Minor trauma to the foot is filtered by nodes behind the knee and in the groin.

The localized nodes most often noticed by parents are those around the head (especially near the base of the skull) and neck. They frequently grow in response either to the mouth organisms that enter the body during teething, or to the tiny particles that get into the scalp from a baby’s lying down most of the day, or to respiratory infections of all kinds (ear infections, colds, sinus infections, etc.) — or, to some combination of these.

Much less commonly, head and neck nodes can grow from cat-scratch-fever, tuberculosis, drinking unpasteurized milk (mycobacterial infections), or eating undercooked meat (toxoplasmosis). They can also grow from an isolated malignancy, such as a lymphoma.

Many people have a sunny attitude toward “swollen glands,” not believing they will really be serious. Others believe these lumps to be harbingers of doom. The truth is somewhere in between. Most of these situations turn out to be fine, but enlarged lymph nodes should be respected.

When Should You be Concerned about Swollen Lymph Nodes?

When examining your child, your physician will pay attention to several important signs:

  • Location — enlarged lymph nodes just above the collar bone but below the neck often indicate serious disease.
  • Character — nodes that are hard, non-tender, and irregular are very suspicious. Normal nodes are mobile beneath the skin. Fixed nodes, those that are firmly attached either to the skin or to deeper tissues, are often malignant. Nodes that are tender, inflamed, or rubbery in consistency usually represent an infection.
  • Growth — enlarged nodes that continue to enlarge rapidly should be evaluated rapidly.
  • Associated symptoms — fever, night sweats, or weight loss accompanying enlarged lymph nodes should be investigated thoroughly.
  • Size — size does matter! The definition of an enlarged lymph node is size larger than one centimeter (0.4 inch) in diameter. Pea-size lymph nodes are not enlarged, even if you didn’t feel them there before. Any node that is larger than 1cm in diameter should be followed closely by a physician. It should shrink noticeably within 4-6 weeks, and should be less than one centimeter within 8-12 weeks. High-risk enlarged nodes are those larger than 3cm (more than an inch) in diameter.

If lymph nodes remain truly enlarged for more than 2 weeks, or if other worrisome signs are present, then the next steps of evaluation include a complete blood count with a manual differential (CBCd)l. This test looks at the number and type of cells in the blood. Isolated anemia is not usually a problem, but anemia with an unusual white blood cell count or platelet number is worrisome. An abnormal CBC can be diagnostic of leukemia and lymphoma, but it is important to note that most children with neck malignancies have normal CBC’s.

Other simple tests include a sedimentation rate (a general blood test that indicates whether something significant might be going on in the body as a whole), blood chemistries (LDH is often elevated in malignancies, AST and ALT are often elevated in infections that cause enlarged lymph nodes), and a tuberculosis skin test. Depending on the results, other studies might include tests for specific illnesses (mono or HIV), and an x-ray or an ultrasound to get a better picture of what is going on.

If the node remains enlarged (greater than 1cm) for 2 to 3 months, or continues to grow after 2 weeks, then a biopsy of the lymph node may be indicated, unless the physical exam and lab tests are convincingly reassuring. At least half of the time, a biopsy does not reveal a definite cause for the enlargement, but the biopsy can rule out cancer and other serious problems.

Shelley, you bring to this situation your love as a mother, your difficult experience with the misdiagnosis of your own mother, and your determination to seek the best information available about swollen glands. Your pediatrician brings a wealth of knowledge, a practiced objectivity, and the experience of examining and following many lymph nodes. Together you have what it takes to ensure the best care for your daughter, as you keep the lines of communication open.

Medical Review on: January 13, 2015
About the Author
Photo of Dr. Alan Greene
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
Get Dr. Greene's Wellness RecommendationsSignup now to get Dr. Greene's healing philosophy, insight into medical trends, parenting tips, seasonal highlights, and health news delivered to your inbox every month.
Showing
50
comments (153 total)
Add your comment

Recent Comments

My 11 month old son have 4 or more lymph nodes in the head scalp. We were thinking it was because of his tooth. Im getting worried about my son right now. And im having inside panic of myself thiking maybe this could be worst

Hi Hyziel,

I can certainly understand your parental worry. We love our children so much. It’s hard not to worry whenever we see something that may not be normal.

In the article above, Dr. Greene says:

The localized nodes most often noticed by parents are those around the head (especially near the base of the skull) and neck. They frequently grow in response either to the mouth organisms that enter the body during teething, or to the tiny particles that get into the scalp from a baby’s lying down most of the day, or to respiratory infections of all kinds (ear infections, colds, sinus infections, etc.) — or, to some combination of these.

I hope that helps.
Best, @MsGreene
Note: I am the co-founder of DrGreene.com, but I am not Dr. Greene and I am not a doctor. Please keep that in mind when reading my comments and replies.

This article was so very descriptive and helpful. The last paragraph was so well written. Many Drs could take note as to how to approach patients and their care.

I’m 13 year old and have 6 swollen lymph nodes on the right side of my neck and 1 on the left side of my neck. I also have 1 in my groin. I went to the doctor, and they told me that it was normal and there was nothing worry about. My CBC blood test came out normal. My ALT also came out normal and also another blood test which measured swollen parts of my body, which came out a little bit abnormal. Overall the doctor told me that I should stop worrying about it. The only symptom I have is the swollen lymph nodes.
Should I worry about it or ignored it?

Thanks for this explanatory and well computed response Dr.

Hi, I am 23 years old and I’ve had enlarged retroauricular lymph nodes on both my ears. I have had tooth abscess on my left side. I’ve lost a lot of weight the past few months. In February I was diagnosed with Duodenitis with positive H.Oylori and pancreatitis. The doctor prescribed omeprazol, metronidazol and amoxicilin. I’m done with treatment, but I’m not sure if I’m OK. I asked about the weight loss and the doc said that it’s because of the infection. I’m really scared, it’s like everytime I palpate these nodes they have become larger. They are fixed, hard and irregular. They are only behind the ears. Nowhere else.

From reading the article, it sounds like you shouldn’t just let this go. What kind of doctor have you seen? Maybe go to a different doc? It’s probably nothing, but weight loss, hard and irregular are all on his bad list.

Dr my daughter is 8 month she has about 4 lymph nodes in the neck just above the collar I’m starting to get worried. What could be the cause?

Dr my son is 19 months old. he had cold last week and also in his body just sign of insect bit last week but now I noticed 1 swolleen lymph nod at the left side of ear and 2 smaller at the right side back of his ear . what about it Dr?

my baby had coughs and was vomiting I took her to the clinic and was given metochlopromide prasily the next day on the right jaw she was swollen what could be the cause she’s 4 months

I have 2 year old identical male twins born at 33 weeks with 43 days nicu; bradycardia/caffeine treatment/low grade brain bleed 3 months of age/large lumpy abdominal bruising non crawler. Dx Von Willebrand 6 months, both. Hematology challenge for Stimate completed. Variety of chronic high and low grade fevers persisted until 18 months as well as multiple infections. After a month of high grade fevers and other symptoms both dx with Kawasaki Disease and hospitalized, no treatment due to late dx. 30 day aspirin script with clear echos. Fevers have been chronic and low grade since. Bruising of legs and body persist, more prevalent in one twin than the other. The same twin also getting MRSA on a calcium deposit on his heel from a nicu needle prick 3 months ago. He was treated with combination Amoxicillin and Clav, successfully. Since then extreme head sweating when sleeping, nap and night. All his CBC results show high white blood cell count but red blood count is not out of range. We are always dismissed with must be a long standing viral infection and bruising due to Von Willebrand etc. Weight is still only 25 lbs and appetites went from thriving to dull. Activity is high with big rests in between and average 11-12 hour sleeps at night. My brother died of childhood cancer and it is prevalent in my family. I simply can’t shake this feeling something is being missed. Lymphnodes were on collar bone, behind ears and essentially everywhere. The ones remaining are on the neck and behind the ears and in groin. Dr is not all concerned. I’m simply curious what steps you might take as a dr if these twins were presented to you for care.

how much time to take disappear or abnormal lymph nodes?

hi, my daughter 14 months old has jelly cyst below her right collarbone. I went to ortho the doctor said its normal but I am still worried. Can you please suggest what will I do.

Sir
M from india
I suffered from infection on my lungs that is tuberculosis
I completed my 9month course
Now i have node in my armpit its hard and immobile of 5-6 cm
And i start feeling the pain also in armpit area
And feel like something stretching my vein from collar bone area
M of 23year female
Plzzz help in detail
M very worried

Hi Dr greene my son is 14 now and I had a noticed a lump behind his ear a year and half ago back then it was a small sharp lump like the end of a ball point pen under skin on bone behind his right ear. Shortly after he blacked out I took him to out of hours go and they thought it’s because he at a growing stage. Iv had him serveral time to our go from them with dizziness, skin rash and the lump grew to a bit bigger than a marble it is stone hard doesn’t move, he has vertigo symptoms and there is now 2 lumps on his bone the lower one is a greyish colour.
I had him at gp and blood count all came back normal. He has referred him to Ent but not as urgent what questions should I be asking I’m worried sick I even get up to check him in middle of the night.

hi doctor
my one month baby neck oneside on the ven has little swollen..wat should i do..

Hi there,
My 5 month old son has 3 moveable lumps on the left side of his head and 2 on the right. There is also one on his neck. At the end of January he came down with a cold, which was then followed by an eye infection in both eyes. At this point I only noticed one lump on the right. He then developed a bad rash, and more of these lumps developed (Feb 17th). I was told that he had a viral infection and a double ear infection and the lumps were swollen lymph nodes. He was put on Amoxicillin for the ear infection, at which point his rash got way worse. The doctors told me it was eczema or possibly an allergic reaction to the medication. It’s now been over 6 weeks since I noticed the first lump, and they aren’t getting any smaller. I lost my sister to cancer and she was overlooked for 9 months before taken seriously, at which point it was to late. I’m making myself sick with worry that the doctors that I’ve seen aren’t taking a close enough look. Do you have any suggestions? What could be causing these lumps? Thank you for your time.

Hey,How is your son?

Dr. Green,
I am 51 yr old female. I have had swollen lymph nodes behind my left ear for 3 months, now both ears, sometimes ear pain, I have eustacian tube disorder. The nodes have went down but not to normal, only to swell again. what could this be. I have arthritis of the spine, thyroid nodules that are benign, had fna biopsy, have tmj, a left maxillary mucus cyst in sinus, sinus drainage occasionally.
This started out with pain in the left side lateral, part of the neck and the node swelled the pain goes to my head, had 2 ct scans, nothing showed up but the nodules and c5-c7 of my spine that is degenerative and have arthritis.
What could this be, they stay swollen most of the time and I can’t tell they have really grown.
I do have occasional night sweats only at the neck and chest, but not drenching wet, I am not menopausal yet, but could be perimenopausal. I had night sweats before about ten years ago.
I have been to 3 drs and no one knows but do not do any tests.
What could this be

Hi Dr Green,
My 4 years old daughter have been observated for a submandibular lymphnode for 2 years. During this period she has blood test ( all ok) and US ( reactive lymphnode ). The size is changing 1- 3 cm. Today I found another big lymph node at the back of her neck. This one is more than 3 cm, feels hard. After that I found noumerus lymph nodes around her neck in various size.
She lost her appetite recently, but otherwise she looks energetic and happy.
Our GP said her lymphnodes are fine, no further investigation needed. I am so worried.

My grandson is 5. He has always had large lymph nodes on both sides of his neck since he was very little. The doctor has not been concerned since they move around and have not been sore. He has been getting sick easily the past couple of weeks and we discovered today that his lymph nodes are sore to the touch. My daughter took him to the doctor. The doctor stated that he has the viral infection going around and put him on antibiotics for 10 days to see if that helps get him better. The bigger worry are the lymph nodes. They are larger than they were the last time he was seen but that could be from the viral infection. The doctor will see how big they are and how they feel when he goes back for the checkup. If doctor still doesn’t like the situation tests will be run to determine what is happening. Very worried at this point. Any advice?

They should not be putting him on antibiotics for a viral infection.

My daughter is six years old and has had an enlarged lymph nodes for four weeks today. She has had many blood tests, xray, CT scan, ultrasounds, and we have no answers. We had originally thought it might be cat scratch fever because we have six cats, but three separate tests later has shown a negative result. She had an ENT take some puss (which she has very little of) by poking her with a needle in the neck to test which turned up nothing. Now we have an appointment scheduled with the ENT to talk about doing a biopsy on the node tissue. The lymph node enlargement went from 4cmX3cm to 5cmX5CM within two weeks, and just a few days ago it was 61/2cmX5cm. The only other symptom she has with this are frequent migraines, usually 1 to 2 times a day. Tests have shown no fungal infections of any kind and a skin TB test came back negative. Does anyone have any ideas as to what could possibly be causing this? She is otherwise healthy, with plenty of energy and no fevers.

I would suggest having your child checked for a sinus infection. MY son had constant cough for 2 months after a viral infection and over time his lymphnode on hos neck would enlarge and he would actually play with it by bringing it up the side of his face! We saw the dr constantly until I had an MRI done for his migraines (which start in his right eye) and the MRI came back normal except for severe mucous maxillary, sphenoid sinuses and front lobal sinuses as well. He was treated with antibiotics and steroids and has been doing fantastic since. I have also started giving him vitamins and he uses saline spray in his nostrils twice a day….sometimes go with your instincts as the parent..it seems to work! Good luck!

My grandson has what looks to be insect bites all over. He gets new ones daily. His lymp nodes on his head and neck are swollen one is half the size of a golf ball. They are all over his head and neck. Even his face. He had allergy testing immune testing. He had a biopsy of one of the bites. Nothing came back wrong. On the contrary he is healthy. The bumps are only on him nobody in the family or at school has them. He is 4 years old. The bites keep getting infected. He has been on antibiotics numerous times, creams, steroids, antihistamines and nothing helps. He also got a new bed he and my daughter have moved. No matter where he is he keeps getting new bites. Any ideas?

Leslie,

When we lived in Florida my son was a magnet for mosquitoes. He not only gets the normal bites, but huge whelps as if he is allergic to every bite. When he was younger and would scratch them open, they would often get infected with his typical little boy dirty fingers scratching them. I finally figured out what worked best for us and on days he did get more bites than I cared for, I gave him benadryl to help with the reaction, which our pediatrician recommended. It sounds like if your grandson isn’t in a mosquito prone area and being it is the off season for mosquitoes, he might be suffering from flea bites. New house, even if clean, if there were inside pets previously, it doesn’t take much to get an infestation quickly and with the combo of a child who is sensitive to bug bites of any kind, it could be what your grandson is suffering from. Read up on flea bites and flea infestation and see if these little bugs could be causing the problems for your sweet grandson. Good luck!!!

Hello. My grandson will be 3 in a few days. For a year and a half now he has had two marble size lymph nodes we were told on left side on neck. Dr. monitoring by touch and one ultrasound in a year. We have been so worried so called Dr office to get a referral to a specialist. Went Monday did a scope found no infections in ears,nose,throat nor sinus cavity. He did do a thorough neck exam and found he has 10!!! We were so focused keeping a close eye on those two feeling and seeing them grow and it turns out has them on both sides of neck. Sending him for biopsy scheduled next week to rule out Lymphoma. We are falling apart. The not knowing. And fear of what we may hear. Praying and being as positive as we can. Does anyone have experience in this but it turned out to be something that was not lymphoma. We are praying it’s not and that there is some other explanation for having these that don’t want to go away and spreading.

Irma, your grandson’s story sounds just like my daughters. I am desperate to find out more, if you have any update?

My daughter will be 3 in August, she has had one large lymph node on her neck for over a year. She got an ultrasound done to confirm it was a lymph node, but that is where the testing has stopped… No biopsy or anything… She has almost every single sign of a NHL (Lymphoma) and even has started having random fevers. I am just so worried, and don’t want to argue with her doctor, but feel like further testing should definitely be done.

They say just enlarged lymph node, nothing to be worried about. But the random fevers, stomach aches and stuff she has been having, and this lump for almost a year and a half, which is starting to be bigger not go down whats so ever, has me questioning her doctor. So just looking for some other stories…

Hi Irma. Is there any update on your grandson?

If he has had a recent flu shot that could be the cause. My son had swollen lympnodes post flu shot for three week. Prayers that is turn out to be something simple.

My 12 year old daughter has a hard tiny lump to the left of the spinal cord but it almost touches the spinal cord. At first it was soft and big about the size of a nickel then it got all red and purple and then it got really hard and the size of small button and it’s been there for the past year took her to the doctor and they told me to take her if it got worse any idea on what it could be?

Could it be a calcium deposit

Hi..!! I have a swelling neck at one side of my neck (right). which I have taken antibiotic but it still not going, it is almost three months now but still not seems to go. please what could be the problem, I’m getting scared. please help me.

Karl Hi I have had a swollen penis for 12 months with no pain, I went to the doctors three times with it, still no answers, I’ve had a ct scan from bottom of my stomach up to my neck, which they found a Benign tumor on my right kidney which I’ve had removed, I suffer with absesses on my bottom which I’ve had for 15years I have had a operation on my left bum but I’ve got to still have a chunk cut out of my right cheek because that is were the course of it all is, could that be why I have a swollen penis, please can you give me any answers

Dear Dr. My 3yr old grandson has had this lump on the back of his head for about a month. It was the size of a dime now about a quarter. We took him to his pediatrician and he has been on antibiotics for 2weeks; with it it just getting larger. He complains about headache sometimes. His dr said he is going to send him for blood work and biopsy. How is the test performed on a small child. So worried. Thank you

Hi, Dr. Green
My son is 19 has been pretty health all his life. 2 weeks ago he noticed a sollen gland under his chin over the week end another. I took him to the doctor’s yesterday she sent him for blood work and this morning he woke with another. 3 very large gland all the siz of a large almond still in the shell. I am scared he have a lot of cancer in both my husband’s and my family. Can you direct me in maybe some other test we can do? If blood work is normal and they dont go away is that ok?

Around 2 weeks Ago i notice a lump on My 10 month daughter on Her back head. I was go to Doctor they Said nothing to worry. But still now i am so worried about IT.i need more information that IT is harmfull.how We understand that the lump is not serious?

My girl too, I just found out this morning on the upper neck near the skull behind her right ear. I have go to see any doctor yet. I am so worry about her. Please I need something or any information that concern about this problem.

my 13 month old son has 3 lumps on his neck my grandma passed away 06/24/16 the cancer spread all over her body my sister is 30 and she has stage 2 Hodgkin’s lymphoma I’m waiting for a app with other doctor to see my son.

Your style is really unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this blog.

I am 17yrs old mine occipital region has been swollen since 2 Months for the first week there was pain but now there is no pain but still its swollen why?

Vikram,
I am experiencing the exact same thing right now. It was incredibly painful last week for about 4 days and then it mostly went away. Now it is mostly stiff/sore but still swollen. I was wondering how your situation turned out.

Vikram,

Was this due to an injury?

@MsGreene

I have a swollen lymph nodes on my groin that doesn’t go down. Before I have herpes but after the infection, the nodes remains swollen and making me uncomfortable. I also noticed nodes on my neck. Was diagnosed with h pylori and bile reflux during endoscopy. Just worried on what to do.

Hi I am 16 and my glands in the outside of me neck left side behind the ear are swollen again I went to the doctor they said I was fine but now they are swollen again

Hi my son is 20 months and has had a lump on his neck (just at the side of his ear & down slightly ) he’s had this lump for months I’ve never been worried (I feel so stupid) well he’s been poorly so took him to the Dr’s they said it’s hos lymph nodes and he’s refered him to the hospital! Should I worry? What will they do xx

Hello, just wondering what the outcome was of this?
My daughter has the sameness thing and been referred but they are growing larger by the day?

My 9 year old very active, baseball playing, always outside son a week ago today found a lump on his neck. He had a nasty ear infection in his left ear and a small swollen lymph node behind his ear two weeks ago and was on an antibiotic when we first noticed the lump. By day two it was no longer one big lump but had broken into two separate ones. The lump behind his ear is gone, the ear infection is better. He ran a 102fever during the first days of the ear infection. But now a week after finding the lump he now has 5 of them they start a little below his hairline and go down to near his collar bone. They don’t hurt him and he has no other symptoms. Doctor says to watch them and he may need a stronger antibiotic but I’m worried. In the last two years thete have been a large handful of kids in our area diagnosed with different types of cancers, lymphoma and leukemia. I just don’t take my child’s health lightly and I’m very concerned. -Brandi

Hi,i am 26 years old,i have been noticing two lymphs in the backside above my waist beneath the skin.it has been in the same position for the last 6or7 months.but it has no pain.sometimes it becomes smaller or sometimes bigger.whats the problem with me.plz reply

I have been noticing swollen nodes by the both side of my neck for up to 2 months now and recently(like 2 to 3 weeks ago) noticed a node that is bigger than the ones on my neck under jaw…but this nodes haven’t been painful so far but am scared…please what is this?

hello,
I had the same problem too, swell on the right side of my front neck for few month already. i had consulted 2 different doctors and they both say its fine. after that i consulted ENT specialist and he insert a mini camera into my throat and nose to check it out, he say nothing serious, just that it’s infection on the inside of my throat. but no pain at all…i’m quite scared too but after the specialist told me that it’s quite a relief. He gave me Augmentin antibiotic for treatment.

My 18 month old son has been fighting sickness for over 2 months and he has seen 3 different doctors and a specialist and every time they think it is one thing it turns up a new symptom and rules out what they thought it was before. My son use to be so happy all of the time and now it’s a fight to get a smile out of him. He has 2 swollen lymph nodes one on either side of his neck and has sores all over his scalp. When they seem to heal he gets a new sore in its place. He keeps a sinus infection and he just had to have tubes put in his ears last Wednesday because he has had 8 ear infections in the last 6 months. His appetite has decreased and he’s been at 23 pounds since he was a year old. Please help me, no one seems to know how to help my baby :(

Is he okay? Do you
Know anything? My baby girl has swollen lymph nodes on sides of her neck.

Hello! Based on my experience with my 11 month old, I would bet on yeast infectin. Since he had so many ear infections, I suppose he was on antibiotics a lot – that kills bacteria bad and good so it’s perfect ground for yeast overgrow. Unfortunately, conventional doctors don’t know much about it and don’t find it serious so its up to you to learn what you can about it and where to seek for help. Also, fungal ear infection is always chronic, rarely acute to show redness or swelling but is a good ground for bacteria to get stuck. Hopefully your pediatrician is better knowledged or at least more persistant in finding the answer. Wish all the best to you and your son.

Hi my daughter has been to the hospital for her lymph nodes on her right side of her neck she has 2 large swollen nodes measuring 3 cm. she’s been on two anyibiotics and if this last one doesn’t work they want to remove her nodes I’m scared because they are on her neck sight what happens if she starts bleeding to people normally get surgery around there necks ? Help scared mum :(

Hi… how is ur daughter doing!!! Hope she is well… i m going through exact same situation , my 8 yr old son has two big nodes sized 2.3 cm and 2.9 cm on both sides of tge neck for over 2 yrs. Did fine needle biopsy.. but now Doctor is confused whether or not to do the open biopsy.. i m scared too.. if u can pls reply

Hello there my son is 10 nearly 11 and he has had a swollen lymph node in his neck for 6 years maybe over he has been to the doctors loads of times and has had blood tests he has always had problems with tonsillitis never any pain and they always seem to be swollen loads of silver in his mouth and he clears his throat a lot he now has 2 small ones behind his ear they have been there for about 6 weeks that I know of they have given him antibiotics which have made no difference and he has now got one at the other side of his throat no pain in any of them and even though he had antibiotics they said he had no infection they just wanted to be sure I’m worried because his tempricture seems to fluctuate sometimes he feels so hot quite often actually and he sweats a lot get hot just from sat with clothes on sweats on a night to the point I have to dry him with a towel turn the pillow and quilt he can’t sleep with jarmas as on he gets too hot and often has a fan there doing blood tests but what happens next it sound to me like my son has lymphoma and I’m so scared thank you

thank you for the answer to this mother about lymph nodes in her child. My grandson also has a node in his neck and has had for 6 months and is larger now. he also has another one we can now notice beside this one. My daughter died of ependymoblastoma when she was 5 and my partner has CLL so i have been concerned but do not want to worry my daughter. This has helped me very much.

My daughter is 2 1/2months old and she was 6 weeks early she has had a cold for almost a month now and yesterday we took her in to get blood done and everything was negative but her lymph test was a little night and I had no idea what that ment the doctor did not explain that to me and that’s why I am on here should I be worried about this I do t feel any nodes anywhere but I am a new mom and I don’t know what to really do I am really nervous what should I do?

This is one of the best articles I have seen on the net. Very informative and educational. I am a registered nurse and did not know all of the specifics. Thank you Dr. Greene

My daughter is 12months old she has two enlarged lymph nodes around the neck, me and her mother we are both hiv+ but she was born perfectly healthy and the first test results @9months were negative…..please advise am having sleepless nights.

I hope your wife didn’t breast feed her!

thanks soon much!!!so much good informations!!!

My son has been having recurring swollen nodes in neck on right hand side and tonsils for last 18mths but has got increasingly worse the last 9mths, he now gets this every 4wks give or take along with very high fever, sickness, usually takes 2wks to get back energy, since it started he has had change in personality, constant ear pain, neck pain, torticolus in neck, issues with right eye, light sensitive, night sweats yet feels cold to touch, now he is complaining about right leg, he limps a lot on it, his nodes on his neck no longer go away they are just constantly there , he no longer turns his neck freely, his most resent symptom is headache at base of scull to which he was rushed to hospital with suspected meningitis, after being checked over the dr sent him home, its progresivly getting worse all the time, he has been waiting for his appointment with ENT for 5mths now and im going out my mind with worry, he is a totally new person and always in pain with something, any ideas would be much apreciated,

Check for lyme or bartonella. Igenix lab.

Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2:24. I speak your child is healed in the name of the Lord Jesus I command infirmity to go now! Thank you God!!!

Hi my son hayden after two day old the dr. Had circumcisied my son by my request…. he two yes today and he have a lump on his penis when i first saw it it was only skin growing but now it growing more n om feeling a seed.. i take him to the dr befor m they say that happen its ok.. can you help me with that.

My son who is 12 has swollen lymph nodes on both sides of his neck for the past 3 months. It started one day when he got up with a stiff neck and developed a lump on the opposite side. I took him to his peadiatrician who said that the node was due to trauma to the area and sent him for physiotherapy. I still insisted on blood tests. All bloods were normal except for a high phosphate level of 2 and slight anaemia. A few days later i noticed a lump in the same spot on the other side of the neck. I was not happy and again visited the peadiatrician. I was told that its common to have nodes on either side if there was trauma to the area. I have been reading a lot and i am terrified as my son has recently been losing his appetite and has been losing weight. He also suffers with lots of stomach pain. The nodes to me seem to either be the same size or they could be slightly smaller. I was told that they should be normal after about a month. 3 months or longer and they are still there.Please help. Where to from here?

Regards
Yas

My son who is nearly 9 has had a swollen lymph node on his neck for 7 months I to him doctors who said it was 3cm in size took him to ent who said he has a few enlarged at the back of his neck so he has requested a scan (waiting for a date) he said he is more than certain that it’s due to his age is this normal procedure

I too have the same symptoms, any luck on finding out what was wrong?

Dr. Greene,
My little boy is 3.5 months old. He has two swollen lymph nodes at the base of his skull. The pediatrician did not do any testing 3 weeks ago when she said he had a viral infection. He has not shown any symptoms but the nodes are still swollen. He has been switched formulas numerous times to try to control projectile spit up and is also on Zantac for reflux. He did have RSV, diagnosed January 11th but recovered quickly after hospitalization. Should I take him for a second opinion on the nodes or should I wait. I’m terrified it could be cancer as one of my friends little boy has recently been diagnosed with lymphoma. Please I would greatly appreciate your opinion.

hi! had same problems with my boy who is now 11 months old. The cause of the reflux in our case was yeast wich I passed through breast feeding which was not diagnosed. He had no other symptoms, doctors said it was all normal but it got worse. Doctor recommended Zantac but we refused because of serious side effects and basically it turned out I would have made him even worse because antiacids help yeast infection spread fast. The problem is not high stomack acid but low acid and by stopping the production of acid you make things worse. Talk to the doctor to consider tring milk formula with no cow milk, corn starch -I think there’s only Neocate that has none – and stop giving him Zantac. Of course, all that in agreement with your doctor. We weren’t lucky enough to have one who is familiar with this so things got way worse. Fungus will demage your baby’s digestion tract and it will be worse when he start solids if you don’t resolve the problem prior to that. Wish you luck!

My 3 year old daughter has a hard small lump just above her collar bone and I had it checked by two Doctors because of the location which I had read could be a sign of something concerning. It is however pea sized so not 1cm or bigger. As yet it has not notably got any bigger. It has been there for at least two weeks when I first noticed it. Both DRs have dismissed it as nothing to worry about it but both said to keep an eye on it. It is hard and fixed. She has an awful cough but that is probably just a common cold as others in the family had recently had the same. Do I just wait and see if it goes or gets any bigger or do I need to be worried because of the location?

Hi Julia
I’ve found this post because my 6 year old has the same thing. It is on her right side, just above her colour bone and is like a hard pea under the skin. I have also read it could be something suspicious. I’m wondering whether to take her to the Dr. Did you get anywhere with this? Do you have any advice?
Thanks
Sarah

Please help, the pedia of my girl who’s 19 months old noticed lymph nodes behind her left ear and one on her left groin when she was 6 months. She’s 19 months now and they’re still there. I am really worried. As I have hep B. She has complete immunization especially for anti hep B. I’m so concern that she might be getting it too that’s why she’s having lymph nodes. But she’s very active, happy baby. Very seldom she gets sick. This has been really bothering me. Please enlighten me.

I’ve got nodes swollen through my body .

I’ve have a swollen splin and liver my atl are high been in out the hospital 2 years have had 2 nodes removed no cancer found biopsy on liver . Brushing easy short term memory lost have had test done but can not find a illness