Enlarged Lymph node

The human body has its own way of dealing with disease-causing agents. Our body consists of various specialized structures that are involved in fighting with infections. Lymph nodes are a part of the lymphatic system, a component of the body's immune system. Lymph nodes are found throughout your body. Lymph nodes found in your neck are called cervical lymph nodes. They contain immune cells that helps in fighting with infections are foreign agents. Lymphadenopathy is a term used for the disease of the lymph nodes or generally swollen/enlarged lymph nodes. Swollen lymph nodes may sign of an infection. Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, under the chin, armpits and the groin are the frequent ones. Sometimes enlarged lymph nodes are seen in chest also.

Swelling of neck lymph nodes can be attributed to a range of ailments. The causes of lymph nodes in neck can be due to common cold and sore throat to something severe such as mouth cancer and tuberculosis. Painful lymph nodes in neck can be due to several reasons, prominent ones being sore muscles and sore glands around the neck. It can cause great discomfort.

Parotid gland disorders

The parotid gland is one of three major paired salivary glands which deliver their secretions by a duct into the mouth. Inflammation of one or both parotid glands is known as parotitis. If one of the parotids is diseased, due to infection or blockage, it becomes swollen and tense. The flow of saliva may be obstructed due to blockage of the parotid duct, resulting in severe pain on salivation.

The most common cause of parotitis is mumps. Other parotid gland infections such as bacterial infections can also cause parotitis or blocked parotid gland, either due to calculi or external compression. Stones in parotid gland mainly occur within the parotid gland or the main confluence of the ducts.

The patient usually complains of intense pain when salivating and tends to avoid foods which produce this symptom. In addition, enlarged parotid gland may be seen. Swelling of the parotid gland may also indicate the eating disorder bulimia nervosa, creating the look of a heavy jaw line. Tumor in parotid gland is normally benign. The most common of these include pleomorphic adenoma and Warthin's tumor. Some percent of cancers of parotid gland are malignant with the most common tumors being mucoepidermoid carcinoma and adenoid cystic carcinoma. The tumor growth can also change the consistency of the gland and cause facial pain on the involved side since the facial nerve travels through the parotid gland.

The most common parotid gland tumor symptoms are lumps on the side of the face in front of or just below the ear.
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