Could swollen lymph nodes be cancer?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 02, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I found three lymph nodes behind my left ear. One was sore when I went to the doctor. She gave me antibiotics for 10 days. One is no longer sore, but another is. I have to wait another week and a half before my next appointment and I'm very anxious and worried. Could this be cancer?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Cancer can cause swollen lymph nodes, but I doubt that this is what is causing your problems. It sounds like you had a sinus or ear infection that was causing your lymph nodes to swell. Sometimes, it takes awhile for the lymph nodes to return to normal, even after antibiotics, so see how it goes. It should definitely be gone by next week, so if it is not, you may need more antibiotics.