Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that can affect various organs, though the lungs and lymph nodes are most common. The direct cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. When an organ is inflamed, the tissue may develop lumps or nodules called granulomas. Once granulomas -- clusters of immune system cells -- form, they can affect the function of the organ and alter its original structure. Symptoms of sarcoidosis vary depending on which organ is affected, and the condition is often misdiagnosed.
Swollen and enlarged lymph nodes are an indication that the immune system is at work fighting off infection. In the case of sarcoidosis, the nodes themselves may be directly affected. Lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin enlarge when inflamed; they become tender and the skin over them may become red. Other lymph nodes affected by sarcoidosis include those in the chest and around the lungs. Inflammation of these tissues can cause pain and coughing.
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