Your lymph nodes are small, round, or bean-shaped masses of tissue. They are part of the lymphatic system that helps your body fight infection and disease. As lymphatic fluid travels through the body, immune cells (called lymphocytes) in the lymph nodes trap bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful substances and destroy them to help prevent their spread. They also keep fluid balance in check.
You're probably already familiar with the lymph nodes in your neck, but there are hundreds of other lymph nodes scattered throughout your body. Other areas where you may be able to feel swollen lymph nodes include:
* Behind the ears. * Area under the jaw. * Lower part of the back of the head. * Armpits. * Groin.
The tonsils in the back of the throat are also a kind of lymph tissue, and they can swell from illnesses such as tonsillitis.
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