• Can you live without your neck lymph nodes?

    Asked by StegalMan on Wednesday, January 9, 2013

    Can you live without your neck lymph nodes?

    A friend has told me his Dr wants to take them all out. He has head and neck cancer.

    1 Answer from the Community

    • nancyjac's Avatar

      We have in the neighborhood of a hundred thousand lymph nodes. What your friend's doctor probably told him was that he wants to do a regional or radical lymph node dissection, in which most or all of the lymph nodes in the area of a malignancy are removed because of the probability of malignant cells entering the nodes and spreading the cancer to remote areas of the body through the lymphatic system. We can live a lot longer without a handful of lymph nodes (relatively speaking) than we can with metastasized cancer.

      almost 4 years ago

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