Lymph nodes and cancer

Assessment of the Head, Neck, and Regional Lymphatic

Lymph nodes and cancer

Lymphatic system guards against diseases and infections. Lymphatic vessels connect to lymph nodes in the body that collects bacteria from lymph. The bacterium is taken back to the blood forming swellings where there are infections (Jarvis, 2016). Cancer may occur in the lymph nodes through travelling from where they developed to the lymph nodes. Patients with lymph node issues require knowing that the doctor will remove some nodes to diagnose the problem and identify presence of cancer cells. In case the doctor finds some cancer cells, he will assess the risk of its reoccurrence. The doctor may give further treatments.

Signs and symptoms of secondary cancer in lymph nodes

Patients require knowing symptoms such as enlargement and hardening of one lymph node may be signs of cancer. Moreover, there may be backaches or breathlessness if swollen nodes are at the chest or abdomen. The pain comes from pressure put to the surrounding organs (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2015).

Patients diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes require having scans such as CT, PET (Positron emission tomography) and MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) scan and biopsy.


Lymph node cancer is treated through chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy, and target therapy.

Role of the nurse in care

The role of the nurse is to remove some nodes and test them for cancer. Advise the patient on best health practices if results turn out negative. However, if results are positive, the nurse has a role of educating the patient on available methods of curing it (MacMillan Cancer Support, 2015). The nurse may perform a surgery to remove affected nodes, radiotherapy to destroy affected cancer cells in treatment area, targeted therapy to stop cancer cells from growing and Chemotherapy to destroy harmful cancer cells using anti-cancer drugs.




Reference to use:

Jarvis, C. (2016). Physical examination & health assessment  (7th Ed.). Philadelphia, PA:

MacMillan Cancer Support.(2015).Secondary cancer in the lymph nodes. Retrieved from               condarycancerlymphnodes.aspx


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