What You Need to Know About Adenopathy
Adenopathy is a term that refers to the swelling of the glands or lymph nodes in the body. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures that filter lymph, a fluid that carries white blood cells and other substances that help fight infections and diseases. Lymph nodes are located in various parts of the body, such as the neck, armpits, groin, chest, abdomen, and pelvis.
Adenopathy can have many different causes, but the most common one is an infection. When the body is fighting an infection, the lymph nodes may become enlarged and tender as they fill with immune cells and waste materials. This is usually a normal and temporary response that goes away once the infection is cleared. Some examples of infections that can cause adenopathy are:
- The common cold or flu
- Strep throat or tonsillitis
- Ear infections or tooth infections
- Skin infections such as cellulitis or shingles
- Sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia or syphilis
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or mononucleosis (mono)
However, adenopathy can also be a sign of a more serious condition, such as an autoimmune disorder or cancer. Autoimmune disorders are diseases that cause the immune system to attack healthy tissues in the body, resulting in inflammation and damage. Some examples of autoimmune disorders that can cause adenopathy are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Celiac disease
Cancer can cause adenopathy in two ways: by spreading to the lymph nodes from another part of the body (metastasis) or by originating in the lymph nodes themselves (lymphoma). Some examples of cancers that can cause adenopathy are:
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Adenopathy can vary in size, number, location, and duration depending on the cause and severity of the condition. In general, adenopathy that is caused by an infection is more likely to be soft, tender, movable, and resolve within a few weeks. Adenopathy that is caused by an autoimmune disorder or cancer is more likely to be hard, painless, fixed, and persist for longer than a month.
If you notice any swollen lymph nodes in your body, you should consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may ask you about your medical history, symptoms, and exposure to any potential triggers. Your doctor may also perform a physical examination and order some tests, such as blood tests, imaging tests, or a biopsy of the affected lymph node.
The treatment of adenopathy depends on the underlying cause and may include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppressants, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. The prognosis of adenopathy also depends on the underlying cause and may range from excellent to poor.
- Adenopathy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and More – Healthline
- Adenopathy: Definition, causes, and treatment – Medical News Today
- Swollen Lymph Nodes (Adenopathy) in Cancer – Verywell Health