What do you know about your 'nodes'?

We are familiar with many parts of our body and how they relate to our health, but when it comes to our lymphatic system, we New Zealanders just don’t “Know our Nodes.” Many of us have heard of lymph nodes and know they are somewhere in the body but, beyond that, details about the lymphatic system and lymphoma often remain a mystery.

Take some time to complete our quiz and find out how much you know about your nodes. Learn a little more about the lymphatic system, one we can’t live without.

Question 1 of 15

  1. A lymph node is the size and shape of a:

    Correct! A lymph node is a small, kidney bean-shaped organ. However, lymph nodes grow in size when they need more power to do their job fighting off bacteria and viruses.

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  2. Which statement best describes how lymph nodes work in your body?

    Correct! According to a global survey, when asked if they know their nodes, only half (49 per cent) of people said they don't know what they do. Lymph nodes are actually the filters of the lymphatic system. They clean the lymph fluid and lymphocytes, removing bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances. The nodes are also responsible for the manufacture and storage of infection-fighting cells called lymphocytes.

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  3. In a game of hide-and-seek, where would you find lymph nodes?

    Correct! Lymph nodes can be found anywhere! Nodes are strategically located throughout the whole body where bacteria are most commonly found.

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  4. Lymph nodes get enlarged or swollen when your body is fighting an infection.

    Correct! When working to fight an infection, the nodes become much larger because they need more power to do their job. You may even notice your lymph nodes become tender when the body is fighting infection (such as "mono" or strep throat).

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  5. If you went to visit your doctor, could he or she feel your nodes?

    Yes! You or your doctor can feel lymph nodes in the armpits, the groin and the neck. There are many more that can't be felt, such as nodes in the stomach, pelvis and chest. Doctors will often check lymph nodes on both sides of the body at the same time.

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  6. Lymphoma is more common than leukaemia in New Zealand.

    Correct! Close to 900 people are diagnosed with lymphoma every year and it is the sixth most common form of cancer in New Zealand, while close to 600 are diagnosed with leukaemia.

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  7. A lymphocyte is best described as...

    Correct! A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell, which helps fight viruses or bacteria that cause infection. Lymphocytes are moved throughout the lymphatic system in a clear fluid called lymph.

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  8. When describing the lymphatic system, it looks most like a:

    Correct! The lymphatic system looks like a tree, with many outstretched branches called lymphatic vessels that act like channels carrying a colourless liquid called lymph. In fact, the lymphatic system looks a lot like the circulation system which carries blood through the body.

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  9. Fill in this statement: "I am the lymphatic system. I do my best to ..."

    Correct! Infection and cancer beware! The lymphatic system is a network of tissue, ducts and organs that is an important part of the immune system, playing a major role in the body's defence against infection and cancer.

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  10. How many kinds of lymphoma are there?

    Correct! There are more than 45 types of lymphoma. The two most common types are Hodgkin lymphoma, discovered by Thomas Hodgkin in 1832, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The different types of lymphoma affect different types of lymphocytes.

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  11. Lymphoma is the most common cancer in 15 to 24 year olds in New Zealand.

    Correct! Lymphoma ranks as the most common cancer in 15-24 year olds in New Zealand.

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  12. Lymphoma has similar symptoms to:

    Correct! Symptoms of lymphoma include low energy, fever, unexplained weight loss, severe night sweats and swollen lymph nodes. Since the signs and symptoms of lymphoma can often be mistaken for other less serious illnesses, make sure you know what to look for. According to a recent survey, 50 per cent of respondents couldn't name one symptom of lymphoma, but by knowing more about your nodes, the symptoms can be detected early and there is a better chance for quicker diagnosis, treatment and overall survival. For a complete list of signs and symptoms, visit www.leukaemia.org.nz.

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  13. Lymphoma is caused by:

    Correct! Unlike some cancers, the causes of lymphoma are complex and largely unknown. However, researchers are working hard to search out the causes and subsequent treatments and, eventually, a cure for this cancer.

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  14. How many people will be diagnosed with Lymphoma in New Zealand this year?:

    Correct! Close to 900 New Zealanders, the equivalent of 60 rugby teams will be diagnosed with lymphoma this year, placing it in the top 6 most common types of cancer in New Zealand, affecting children, men, and women.

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  15. How many people will be diagnosed with Lymphoma worldwide this year?

    Correct! Nearly one million people around the world are living with lymphoma today, the same as the number of people living on the South Island. In fact, lymphoma has one of the fastest rising incidence rates of any cancer and the exact cause is still unknown.

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