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Dr. Behere
Dr. Behere, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 2829
Experience:  Masters degree, years of experience with all kinds of dental problems.
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Does a roundish enlarged lymph node always mean cancer? I

Customer Question

Does a roundish enlarged lymph node always mean cancer? I have a lymph node on my neck that has been swollen for at least two years, no changes. But sometimes feels different to me. It is painless but moves and is not rock hard. Not grown any bigger. I have very bad dental problems, lots of gum infections, periodontitis, gingivitis. Many rotten teeth and often a lot of tooth abscesses. Cant afford a dentist... Thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Behere replied 1 year ago.


Thanks for putting up your question on Just Answer.

No, it doesnt mean cancer at all !

Lymph nodes are the defense factories of our body. Whenever there is an infection in the vicinity, they get the signal to increase the productions of the defense cells needed to combat the infection. This causes the lymphoid cells to increase in number, thereby increasing the size of the lymph nodes, and thus making them large enough to be felt.

Otherwise, normal lymph nodes cannot be felt.

Even a slight cold or cough can be enough to make the nodes in the Maxillofacial area large enough to be felt. In your case, it is a combination of the dental infections, periodontitis, gingivitis etc that has caused the lymph nodes to be swollen.

And yes, having a swollen mode on only one side is extremely common for an extended period of time, dont worry.

You do need to get your teeth treated though. Since you mention that you cannot afford a dentist, can i suggest some affordable means of getting dental care in the USA?

1. Try to contact the local dental society in your area and see if there are any charitable organizations or foundations that will do your treatment for a reduced fee.

You can find the contact information of your local dental society by visiting :

2. Consider getting treatment from a dental school near you . The charges are lesser than those charged by a private practioner.

Here is a link with the list of all the dental schools in the USA:

3. Here is a website that lists dental offices that offer free and discounted clinics all across the country. Search for one in your area. Read each listing carefully as restrictions apply to some of the listed outlets.

4. One other option is to apply for CareCredit financing; their relaxed credit requirements facilitate payments for dental service that might otherwise not fit comfortably into your budget. You can refer to the CareCredit web site, which also has a directory for participating dentists. See:

Hope this answers your question. Feel free to contact me again for more information. Please leave a positive rating for me if this answer has helped you. I do not get credit for it otherwise.

Good Luck !

Dr. Behere