SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SATURN STILLS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Neck examination. Teenage boy having his neck palpated by a general practice doctor. This is to detect any swelling of the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes (often called "glands") are part of the body's immune system, and become inflamed during an infection. Palpating the skin over the nodes can detect the slightest swelling. The lymph nodes contain thousands of white blood cells that attack invading microorganisms. When inflamed, the nodes become especially active and swell into painful, tender lumps. Swollen glands in the neck may indicate an infection nearby, such as glandular fever, tonsillitis or tuberculosis. Treatment depends on the cause.
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