Lymph nodes are found throughout the body. They are part of the body’s immune system. These nodes help fight infection by producing special white blood cells. They also work by trapping bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells. Normally, lymph nodes cannot be felt unless they are swollen. Infection, usually by a virus, is the most common cause of lymph node swelling. Other causes include bacterial infection and cancer.

With this type of biopsy, the doctor removes and examines all or part of a lymph node.

This biopsy is done to find out why a node is swollen. It can also be done to see if there are cancer cells in the lymph node.

Common areas for biopsy include:

  • Groin
  • Armpit
  • Neck
  • Under the jaw and chin
  • Behind the ears