Check Yourself for Parasites and Cancer by Looking at Your Neck
Doing a quick self-exam is a quick, easy way to check for swollen lymph nodes and other lumps or bumps that could cause concern. These glands that are commonly found in the neck, armpit, groin and back ear are an important part of the immune system that helps your body ward off infection and disease, so they can also serve as a warning sign for many diseases and conditions. In fact, by simply checking the lymph nodes in your neck, you can tell if you may be at risk for parasites and cancer.
Your lymph nodes are small, kidney-shaped glands that transport nutrients, waste, and fluids from the bloodstream and body tissues. Typically, lymph nodes are not uncomfortable or painful, and you’ll likely not even know they are there. However, if one of your lymph nodes becomes swollen or inflamed, that’s a good indicator that something is wrong.
Common Causes of Swollen Glands
If you discover a bump on your neck, behind your ear, or in other locations, it is likely a swollen lymph node. While chances are the swelling will be nothing more serious that a common cold, it’s important to have your doctor assess the gland to rule our more serious concerns, such as an injury, inflammation, parasites and cancer. Some of the most common causes of swollen lymph nodes situated in the neck specifically are:
• The common cold, measles, chickenpox, mono, and other common viruses as well as more serious conditions, such as herpes and HIV
• Strep, staph, cat scratch disease, tuberculosis, and other bacterial diseases as well as s@xually transmitted conditions, such as syphilis and chlamydia
• Histoplasmosis, coccidiomycosis, and other fungal diseases
• Toxoplasmosis and other parasitic infestations
• Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and a number of other inflammatory conditions
• Lung cancer, lymphomas, leukemia, and other cancers related to the lymphatic system