Hi Amin. How large is the largest node? Can you estimate the size for me?
Hi Doctor, they are two of them, one in left side and the other on the right side of my neck, they are equally sized about 2 cm>
There are chains of lymph nodes along both sides of the neck. They are like sentinels that look for infection or abnormal substances in the lypmhatic fluid that runs through them. When they detect something they enlarge and become inflammed (and sometimes tender), only to shrink up again after the threat has passed. In some cases, they scar down, in a sense, and stay enlarged. This may be what happened to you. That said, when a lymph node is larger than 1-1.5 cm and stays enlarged, it is typicaly biopsied to make sure it is just scar tissue and not something else, such as an indolent infection or a blood cell dyscrasia. So while the risk is very low, given its stability, you should have it checked by your GP and possibly biopsied as well.
Sorry doctor, Does smoking in any way affect lymph nodes in this area?
Smoking can affect lymph nodes if it leads to an infection in the throat (pharyngitis) or the bronchial tree (bronchitis). Other than that, we generally don't worry about cancer in smokers until they are over 40.