Why is my right gland in my neck so swollen and sore?

Patient

Q: I'm a 20 year old woman, and since I was younger I've always had throat problems like strep and tonsilitis and when I get sick my throat swells up really bad. Right now my right gland is very swollen and almost hard and it feels like i have a stiff neck which is very sore and because of all the swelling my ear hurts too. But i have no throat pain! What is happening?? Thank you!

Symptoms:  Swollen gland in neck
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. A hard swollen lymph node in you neck could be due to a severe infection in the surrounding area. Despite the fact that you do not have a sore throat, an enlarged lymph node in this area can still be related to an infection. This infection can spread to a larger area presenting more complications. The best course of action is to go to your doctor immediately to have this swelling examined. You may be prescribed antibiotics to clear this infection as well as you will have to have an MRI of the head and neck to determine the extent of this infection. Lastly, there may an an indication for a surgical biopsy to remove this this enlarged lymph node and have it sent it for testing to rule out any serious complications such as lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system).

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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