What Causes Swollen Occipital Lymph Nodes?
The occipital lobe (the part of the brain behind your eyes) contains many nerve cells called neurons. These are specialized cells that send messages from one area of the body to another. They control movement, balance, vision and hearing. When these neurons become damaged or die, they cause problems with movement, balance and other functions. If enough damage occurs then the affected areas may not function at all due to lack of communication between them.
In some cases, swelling of the occipital lobe can result in headaches. A few studies have shown that when tumors grow in the occipital lobe, there is an increased risk of headaches. Some researchers believe that this increase is caused by abnormal growths causing excessive pressure on nerves in the head and resulting in pain signals being sent to the brain. Other theories suggest that it’s just a coincidence and that both types of tumors are responsible for causing headaches.
Research has also shown that headaches can be a result of stroke. A stroke occurs when the brain is deprived of blood flow, which can occur due to blockage (usually a blood clot), or damage to blood vessels. In either case, a part of the brain does not receive the nutrients and oxygen it needs and dies, causing loss of ability in that particular part of the body. In the case of strokes occurring in the occipital lobe, headaches are a common symptom.
The above are some of the most common causes of headaches. If you experience regular pain in this area then you should definitely consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Occipital Lymph Node Cancer Symptoms
Cancer can occur in any part of the body, and although less common in the occipital region, it can also occur in the lymph nodes located behind the ears. The exact cause of this type of cancer is unknown, but it has been shown to run in some families. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you believe you have any symptoms of this disease. Early detection and treatment increases the chances of survival significantly.
A common sign of occipital lymph node cancer is a lump or mass behind the ear or in the neck. This can sometimes be painless, but is often tender or painful to the touch. It might be present for many years before being diagnosed as cancerous, and can often be a few centimeters in size before being detected.
Other common symptoms include headaches, neck pain or stiffness, ear pain, jaw pain, and ringing or buzzing in the ears. Some people experience a loss of hearing or taste, or develop balance or coordination problems.
If you experience any of these symptoms you should seek medical attention immediately.
Occipital Lymph Node Cancer Treatment
Treatment for occipital lymph node cancer will depend on many factors, including the size of the tumor and how far it has spread. The type of treatment used will aim to either remove the cancer or at least reduce the size of the tumor to a level that is no longer life-threatening. It is very important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after symptoms develop, as early detection significantly increases chances of long-term survival.
Surgery is the most common treatment for cancer of the occipital lymph nodes. The exact procedure used will vary depending on where the tumor is, its size, and how far it has spread. A biopsy is often the first step, either to confirm cancer or to remove a sample of tissue so it can be examined more closely under a microscope. Surgery may be carried out soon after a diagnosis, or several months later when the patient is healthy enough to undergo the procedure.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancerous cells. This type of treatment can often be used when surgery is not possible, for example if the tumor is in an inaccessible location. External radiation comes from a machine outside the body and can reach all areas except the skin. Internal radiation (also called brachytherapy) places radioactive material inside the body very close to the cancer site, which helps protect healthy tissue from damage.
Chemotherapy injects powerful chemicals into the blood to kill any cancer cells in the body. These chemicals travel around the body and can reach all areas, but often have serious negative side effects such as nausea, hair loss, susceptibility to infections, and more.
In some cases of occipital lymph node cancer, a combination of treatments is used. For example, surgery may be used to remove the bulk of the tumor, and then external radiation is applied to the area to destroy any remaining cells.
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