There are many causes of lymph node enlargement including cancer spread to nodes, infection, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory diseases of uncertain cause and others. Suspicion of the cause is usually based on the location of the nodes, the clinical findings or disease associated with it and the factors that led to the discovery of enlarged nodes.
If your husband does indeed have lung cancer and the nodes are located in his chest, especially if close to the cancer or in an area that drains lymph from the area of the tumor, then cancer is likely to be the cause of node enlargement. Suspicion can also be based on the size of enlargement; 11.5 mm lymph nodes are not very large.
Lymph nodes are examined and biopsied when a lung cancer is surgically removed. You should ask his doctor what the pathology report on the nodes was and the implications of that for further treatment and the possibility of cure.
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