Swollen Glands (General)
Welcome to our Decision Guide on Swollen Glands.
The term "swollen glands" is often equated with enlarged lymph nodes. However, lymph nodes are not actually glands. They are small bundles of white blood cells. One of the ways the body's immune system responds to infections and inflammation is to greatly increase the number of white cells in the lymph nodes causing them to swell.
Most often swollen lymph nodes are caused by an infection or some other benign condition. Less commonly, lymph nodes enlarge related to cancer.
We have lymph nodes throughout our bodies. The parts of the body where people and their doctors can see or feel swollen lymph nodes include the neck, armpit, and groin areas.
This guide will help you understand the most common reasons for swollen glands that you may feel in one or multiple parts of your body.
If you feel swollen glands only in your neck and no where else, your will learn more about your condition by visiting our Health Decision Guide called Swollen Glands in the Neck. If you are not sure, continue with this guide and also visit the Swollen Glands in the Decision Guide.
This guide is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the evaluation and advice of a health care professional.
Glands that remain persistently swollen for more than one month require evaluation by your doctor.
Have your glands been swollen for more than one month?
The location of the lymph nodes is important.
Lymph nodes can be swollen in just one area of the body, such as in one groin or in one armpit. Or they may be swollen in multiple areas, such as the neck and the groin, or the armpit and the groin. They can also be swollen on only side, such as one armpit or one side of the groin, or on both sides, such as both the right and left groin.
Let's start with the groin.
Do you feel any lymph node swelling in the groin, either on one side or both sides?