Diseases of the lymphatic system
The diseases of the lymphatic vessels include lymphangitis and lymphedema. Lymphatic fistulas can appear after surgery in an area with many lymphatic channels - lymphatic fluid escapes via injured lymphatic vessels and flows through the wound.
Lymph node swelling as a symptom
In addition, lymph nodes can react and swell in a wide variety of diseases - be it in the context of inflammation or in cancer such as leukemia and Hodgkin's lymphoma, which are primarily in the lymphatic organs. Precisely because of their filter function, tumor cells that are carried away by the lymph from the primary tumor are also found in the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes therefore indicate in many cancers how much the cancer has already spread in the body.
Symptoms of diseases of the lymphatic system
A lymphangitis, ie the inflammation of a lymphatic vessel, often occurs on the superficial lymphatic channels and is popularly referred to as blood poisoning, because a red strand spreads from the center of inflammation towards the middle of the body. The inflamed lymphatic gland and its surroundings are reddened, often painful and a little swollen - fever can also occur.
In lymphedema, the drainage of the lymph is disturbed - so there is a build-up of fluid in the body tissue. Lymphedema usually occurs on the extremities, the affected body region is swollen and the consistency of the subcutaneous fatty tissue changes, it is doughy. Lymphedema distinguishes a congenital form from one acquired through disease. Since the symptoms can be identical, the history must provide information about what type of lymphedema is present.
The swelling of the body part is not only aesthetically unpleasant, but leads to an increasing functional restriction of the affected limb with the risk of nerve damage and circulatory disorders. The longer a lymphedema exists, the less you can do about it. The swelling becomes stronger, hardens and, above all, they are less likely to respond to possible treatment.
As soon as lymph nodes are involved in the disease process, they often swell, which you can also feel on the neck, under the armpits or groin. With inflammations these touches are painful, with chronic illnesses one can feel the lymph nodes as hardenings.