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What causes pain and swollen lymph nodes? 26 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.



Lymphangitis is an inflammation of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. It is a network of organs, cells, ducts, and glands.

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Hodgkin's Disease

Hodgkin's disease is a type of lymphoma, a blood cancer that starts in the lymphatic system. It can occur at any age, but is most prevalent between the ages of 15 and 40 and after the age of 55.

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Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is a lymphatic system cancer. Symptoms may include swollen lymph nodes, chest pain, fatigue, and fever.

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Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells. Excessive sweating at night, fatigue, weight loss, bone pain, and easy bleeding or bruising are signs of this disease.

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Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis, or "mono," is a group of symptoms caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. One potential symptom is a pink rash that looks like the measles.

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There are many symptoms of the autoimmune disease HIV/AIDS, including persistent skin rashes, night sweats, and mouth sores.

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Acute HIV Infection

Acute HIV infection is the primary stage of infection by the human immunodeficiency virus. There are several telltale symptoms, one of which is a rash.

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Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease and the most common type of lupus. One of its common symptoms is a rash on the cheeks and nose called a "butterfly rash."

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Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-voster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Following pain and burning,fluid-filled blisters that break easily are common symptoms.

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Learn about sarcoidosis and its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and potential complications.

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Burkitt's Lymphoma

Burkitt's lymphoma is a relatively rare and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer of the lymphatic system. It's most common in children living in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Kawasaki Disease

Kawasaki disease is a rare, serious condition causing heart problems in children. The disease can also affect the lymph nodes, the skin, and the mucous membranes found inside the nose, throat, and mouth.

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Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by parasites found in cat feces and undercooked meat, symptoms of which include swollen lymph nodes and fever.

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Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a form of chronic arthritis that affects children. It is a long-term autoimmune condition characterized by stiffness and swelling in the joints. Most cases of JRA are mild.

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Sjogren's Syndrome

Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that affects the glands that help the body create moisture in the eyes and mouth. Women are most likely to be affected.

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German Measles (Rubella)

German measles, also known as rubella, is a rare viral condition. One of its symptoms is a pink rash that begins on the face and spreads downward.

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West Nile Virus Infection (West Nile Fever)

Spread by mosquitos, West Nile virus symptoms can vary in severity. Diarrhea and abdominal pain usually appears within two weeks of infection.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Overview

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, a disease in which the immune system mistakes the body's own cells for invaders. In RA, the immune system attacks the synovia, the membranes lining the joints.

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Bites and Stings

Saliva from insect bites and venom from stings can cause a reaction such as swelling and itching. Bee stings can cause these symptoms and possibly anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition.

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Marine Animal Bites or Stings

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Stingrays have venomous spines on their tails that can cause a painful wound, nausea, and weakness, and sometimes death. Swimming or snorkeling in shallow waters puts you at risk for coming in contact.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.