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Swollen preauricular lymph node
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Swollen preauricular lymph node

Hello, thank you for taking my question.
   What is the significance or possible cause of a unilateral painless, swollen preauricular lymph node?  It is not very large, (maybe 1 cm., if that) not visible, but palpable on only one side right in front of my ear.  It is soft and movable.  (I'm assuming it's a lymph node) I had bad ear infections as a child, but not recently. (29 y/o male now.)  This is the only symptom I have.  When I search the internet for possible causes, naturally all that comes up is cancer, hiv, etc.,  My questions are:
1)  Would this typically be a lymph node associated with a cancer or hiv infection?

2)  What other diseases can cause this?  I wasn't even aware we had lymph nodes over here!!

Thank you again.  I look forward to your response.  (Try not to scare me too much:)
Pan
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Infection would be the most common cause of swollen lymph nodes.  In the preauricular area, things like an upper respiratory infection, conjunctivitis and ear infection can enlarge these nodes.  

Of course, things like HIV and cancer is always possible, but less likely than infection.

I would treat any source of infection.  If the nodes persist for more than a few months, then I would consider a referral to an ENT physician for further evaluation and discussion of possible biopsy.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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