Where Are Lymph Nodes Located Throughout the Body ?


Quick Answer

Lymph nodes are distributed throughout the body and tend to cluster in groups located in the neck, chest, armpit and groin. Humans typically have between 500 and 700 lymph nodes, allowing for considerable variation between individuals, with some located far from the major clusters. They can be difficult to find under normal circumstances, though sometimes they swell and become painful with infection.

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Where Are Lymph Nodes Located Throughout the Body ?
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Full Answer

Lymph nodes often form at the junction between lymph ducts, where two or more lymph vessels join. These structures can form throughout the body, though their overall distribution falls into four major groups: cervical, mediastinal, axillary and inguinal. The cervical group is the easiest for a healthy person to feel, since the lymph nodes in the neck and head are often close to the surface.

Mediastinal lymph nodes are distributed across the chest near the lungs, heart and bronchi. These are rarely felt or noticed unless something has gone wrong, such as metastatic lung or breast cancer, which frequently travels through the lymphatic system. Axillary lymph nodes cluster in the armpits and drain the upper limbs of excess fluid between cells. The lower limbs, groin and lower abdomen are all drained by the inguinal group of lymph nodes.

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