The enlargement of lymph nodes is often linked to an infection, in other cases it can be benign in nature and only more rarely indicate an autoimmune disease or cancer. Professor Armando Santoro, Director of Humanitas Cancer Center, spoke about this on her blog on, in response to a question from a reader.

In many cases, enlarged lymph nodes indicate the presence of a bacterial or viral infection, and they can only rarely be linked to an autoimmune disease or a tumor form. In other cases, for example when the enlargement is longstanding and does not change at all, the causes are benign.

“In some cases, for example, it is possible that the reaction of lymph nodes is caused by even minimal stimuli, such as small lesions caused by the hair removal blade, by the composition of a perfume or deodorant, or even by a garment that is too narrow,” Prof. Santoro points out.


When should I consult my doctor?

If you notice an enlarged lymph node, consult your doctor, who will consider whether to refer the patient to a specialist examination or to an ultrasound scan.

Further monitoring is recommended when lymph node size increases or symptoms such as fever and weight loss occur.