What do underarm lymph nodes do? Why do they swell up? And how do you know if the swelling is simply an infection – or might be cancer?
You're taking a shower, soaping up. And suddenly, underneath your arm, your fingers detect a painful, tender lump – one that wasn't there yesterday. Your mind starts to race: "Do I need to worry about this? Could it be an infected lymph node, even though I haven't felt sick? Could it be… cancer?"
What is the lymphatic system?
Your body's lymphatic system, made up of a series of small vessels, carries a clear liquid – lymph – from your body tissues to the heart. In the heart, lymph joins blood and is pumped via arteries back to the tissues. This efficient system helps drain excess liquid from tissues, and transports infection-fighting white blood cells to where they're needed.
What are lymph nodes?
Scattered along these small lymphatic vessels are up to 700 lymph nodes. These small (think...
What is trigger finger?
Trigger finger (also called stenosing tenosynovitis or stenosing tendovaginitis) is a painful condition in which a finger or thumb becomes “locked” in place after it has been flexed. There may be clicking, popping, or a catching sensation in the affected finger which becomes difficult to straighten without assistance. Some patients may experience stiffness and reduced motion without the characteristic catching or locking.
Stenosing tendovaginitis (i.e. narrowing inflammation of the tendon sheath) can affect any of 23 extrinsic tendons that power the wrist and hand. However, trigger finger most commonly affects the little finger, ring finger, or thumb. Additional symptoms include a bump or lump (nodule) at the base of a finger near the palm, tenderness, or lingering soreness at the base of a finger or thumb,.
What causes trigger finger?
A trigger finger is caused by inflammation and/or hypertrophy (enlargement) of the tendon sheath. This inflammation...
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