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Palpable, non swollen lymph nodes on neck. Cause?

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30 month old daughter with non swollen but palpable lymph nodes on left side of neck. Two nodes appear to be moving as one... Matted? Been palable since 9/2014 so about 9 months. No other signs of illness or issues. Nodes are soft and moveable. Should we be concerned about cancer?

Category: Pediatrician

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Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
 28 Doctors Online

Dear parent,
Thank you for your query at

I can understand your concerns. The problem of swollen lymph nodes in the neck region is a very common and distressing predicament.
Lymph nodes act as sentinels. They guard certain regions. For example, the neck lymph nodes drain all of head and neck. So any infection in the throat, tonsils or ears can cause lymphadenopathy. This is called reactive lymphadenitis and is the most common cause of gland enlargement in children.
Presence of matting needs to be confirmed by a paediatrician. Usually, lymph nodes become matted in conditions such as tuberculosis and lymphoma. It is unlikely that these lymph nodes would remain asymptomatic for around 9 months. Usually, they would be accompanied by fever, loss of appetite, loss of weight or night sweats. Hence, of the two diagnoses, tubercular lymphadenitis still needs to be ruled out.
I request you to go to a paediatrician in person as soon as possible.
Wishing your child a speedy recovery.
Dr. Saptharishi L G

Dr. Saptharishi L G
Category: ICU/ Critical Care Specialist
Senior Residency: DM,  Pediatric Critical Care, PGIMER

Residency: MD, Pediatrics, Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, 2013

Internship: JIPMER, 2009

Medical School: MBBS, Jawaharlal Institute of Post-graduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, 2008
Dr. Saptharishi L G and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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