Hard Lymph Nodes - a Symptom of Severe Infection

Updated on 18 Jun 2009,
Published on 18 Jun 2009

Hard lymph nodes are one of the primary symptoms that indicate a severe infection. Depending on the location and the type of infection, the symptoms of lymph nodes may vary. The enlargement of lymph nodes depending on the clinical significance may be considered normal. Nodes whose sizes are upto 1 centimeter in diameter may be considered as normal. However, in some cases the size of a node that exceeds beyond 0.5 centimeter in diameter may be considered abnormal. For instance, the size of inguinal nodes that exceeds 1.5 diameters in size is considered abnormal.

Infection and inflammation are two of the most common reasons that lead to the enlargement of lymph nodes. Cancer and other rare causes may also lead to lymph node enlargement. Nodes in a particular area of the body may tend to react to outer disturbances which might lead to the development of the lymph nodes. When the doctors examine the lymph nodes they characterize it on the basis of how the nodes feel like on touching the lymph nodes. Following are some of the characteristics of lymph nodes that have been infected:

1) It could be either Immobile or mobile

2) Firm or rubbery

3) Large or small

4) Hard or soft

5) Tender or not tender

Soft, tender and moveable lymph node may represent a lymph node infection which is not very serious. Whereas a lymph node that is firm, hard, not tender and cannot be moved may indicate the occurrence of cancer that is likely to spread. If you suspect that the enlarged lymph node could be the symptom of cancer, then it is important to conduct a biopsy inorder to determine it.

Suggested Reading:
location of lymph nodes
diagnosis of diseased lymph nodes
lymph nodes pain

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