Lymphatic System

Lymphatic Vessels and Organs

What is the role of the lymphatic system in metastatic cancer?

The lymphatic vessels are often a means for transporting metastasizing cancer cells. Cancer cells often enter the lymph nodes and establish secondary cancers there. Examination and analysis of the lymph nodes provides valuable information on the spread of the cancer and helps to determine the appropriate therapy.

Many lymph nodes are located in the neck region: 1 = Preauricular; 2 = Occipital; 3 = Posterior auricular; 4 = Tonsillar; 5 = Superficial cervical; 6 = Posterior cervical; 7 = Supraclavicular; 8 = Submental; 9 = Submandibular; and 10 = Deep cervical chain. (From Bickley, L.S., and Szilagyi, P. Bate’s Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking. 8th Ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2003.)

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