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What is a precarinal lymph node?

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Quick Answer

Precarinal lymph nodes are located in the precarinal space, which is in the chest and surrounded by the ascending aorta, the tracheal bifurcation and the right and left pulmonary arteries. A lymph node is part of the lymphatic system and functions to trap bacterial and cancer cells.

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Full Answer

Lymph nodes are categorized by their location in the body. Precarinal lymph nodes are found within the chest cavity around the lungs. A lymph node may swell if there is an infection present in the body. This is called lymphadenopathy. Lymphadenopathy by itself may simply means a virus is present, or it may be an indicator of something more serious and might require further testing.

Lymph nodes are used in cancer staging to help determine the origin of a cancer. Cancer can begin within the lymphatic system, or it can spread from the cancer's origin to the lymph nodes. If cancer starts in the lymph nodes, the diagnosis is lymphoma, but generally, cancer cells spread through the lymphatic system from the origin of cancer to the lymph nodes.

Lymph nodes are found throughout the body. The main purpose of the lymphatic system is to drain lymph from organs and tissues into the bloodstream. The lymphatic system is comprised of lymph nodes, the spleen, the thymus and bone marrow. This system produces cells in order to fight diseases and infections.

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