Does a Swollen Lymph Node in the Lung Area Always Mean Cancer?

Swollen lymph nodes in the lung or chest area do not always mean cancer. Although some cancers may result in swollen lymph nodes, they may also signal infection, injury, illness or a tumor, states WebMD.

Lymph nodes are small glands located throughout the body, which assist the immune system by carrying fluids, waste and nutrients from the body tissues into the bloodstream, states WebMD. Lymph nodes can become swollen in a part of the body where there is an illness or an infection because the lymph nodes are working with the immune system to remove the unwanted cells, according to the American Cancer Society.

Supraclavicular lymph nodes are the glands located above the collarbone area. Swelling of these glands may indicate an infection or tumor in the areas of the neck, lungs, breasts or abdomen, according to WebMD.

Swelling of lymph nodes may also be generalized, meaning there is swelling in several areas at the same time. This can be caused by illnesses such as chicken pox, strep throat, or an immune system disorder, states the American Cancer Society. Generalized swelling of lymph nodes may also be the result of certain medications or cancer. Treatment for swollen lymph nodes concentrates on determining and treating the cause, explains WebMD.