Why do lymph nodes swell when there is cancer?

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1234567890xyz
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Why?
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black tea
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what kind of cancer do you mean?
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Anonymous #1
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What how big do they swell up? Do you have one?
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1234567890xyz
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(Original post by black tea)
what kind of cancer do you mean?
I didn’t know it differed but let’s say melanoma
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JohnB1
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Hi there. The lymphatic system is the bodies drainage system - the way of getting excess fluid to where it needs to be. Therefore, if you have a cancerous area, excess fluid from that area will pass into the lymphatic system, or which the lymph nodes are a part. If the cancer is contained within the original area then the lymph nodes will not be swollen. If however the cancer has been left untreated it may have spread into the lymphatic system and therefore further around the body. Therefore the lymph nodes are checked to see if they are swollen, as this may be an indication that the cancer has spread. Often some lymph nodes are removed to be checked for cancer. This isn't a treatment but gives an indication of the severity of the cancer. Take care and stay safe.
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1234567890xyz
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(Original post by JohnB1)
if you have a cancerous area, excess fluid from that area will pass into the lymphatic system, or which the lymph nodes are a part.
Thank you. Why ^?
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JohnB1
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(Original post by 1234567890xyz)
Thank you. Why ^?
Fluid drains from all tissue into the lymphatic system. A cancerous organ is no different. If caught early, then it is unlikely that the cancer will spread to the lymph nodes. The longer it is left the more likely. Once it does it becomes more difficult to treat.
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1234567890xyz
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(Original post by JohnB1)
Fluid drains from all tissue into the lymphatic system. A cancerous organ is no different. If caught early, then it is unlikely that the cancer will spread to the lymph nodes. The longer it is left the more likely. Once it does it becomes more difficult to treat.
Right...so more tissue (ie more tumour) = more fluid = more swelling in lymph nodes?
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YaliaV123
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You don’t necessarily have cancer if you have swollen lymph nodes. Many infections can cause them to become swollen.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by 1234567890xyz)
Right...so more tissue (ie more tumour) = more fluid = more swelling in lymph nodes?
No, way more complex than that. It's also worth pointing that like a headache doesn't mean a brain tumour, a swollen lymph node doesn't mean cancer. There are many reasons for nymph lodes to swell.

If you've got concerns, speak to someone who has medical qualifications so that you can get a tailored response to a complete question.
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black tea
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(Original post by 1234567890xyz)
I didn’t know it differed but let’s say melanoma
the cancer metastasises to the lymph nodes
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