The Node Assessment Program (NAP), a collaboration between Boston Children's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, provides a multidisciplinary approach to the care of children with persistent swelling of the lymph nodes (or glands), a condition known as lymphadenopathy. Pediatric patients of all ages and their families have access to experts in the field, including otolaryngologists, surgeons, pathologists, hematologists/oncologists, infectious disease specialists and radiologists from the top-ranked pediatric hospital in the United States.
The first of its kind in New England, the Node Assessment Program accepts referrals, second opinions, and consultations from physicians and families for children with lymphadenopathy that require further evaluation to establish cause, severity, and treatment. Conviently located in Waltham, Mass., about 15 miles from Boston, the program's clinic is easily accessible to Routes 93, 95 and the Massachusetts Turnpike and is a full-service facility with free indoor parking, a cafeteria, and overnight facilities for patients.
Our integrated and multidisciplinary approach to care offers a streamlined and comprehensive evaluation for each child with swollen lymph nodes. Within the Node Assessment Program, physicians and surgeons specializing in lymphadenopathy examine each case that is called or referred into the clinic, treating the child collectively and consulting with a team of otolaryngologists, radiologists, pathologists, infectious disease specialists, hematologist /oncologists and other experts.
Insights from family, such as how long a child has had swollen glands and any related illnesses, are obtained. Each patient is examined, and lab tests and X-rays may be performed to help diagnose the cause of the swollen lymph nodes. Often patients are seen in the Node Assessment Program for follow up visits for diagnostic and evaluation purposes.
Lymph nodes are small clusters of cells, known as lymphocytes, which filter and circulate essential fluid throughout the body. As an essential part of the immune system, white blood cells within the lymph nodes help fight infection; lymphadenopathy occurs most often when viruses (such as the flu, a sore throat, or the common cold) or bacterial infections cause lymph nodes to swell or enlarge. Signs of lymphadenopathy include enlarged nodules that may be painless or may be tender.
Swollen lymph nodes (or swollen "glands") are very common in children, of all ages, and the treatment is often observation after initial screening, laboratory and radiologic imaging studies. Our experts recommend that parents whose children present with persistent swelling and/or redness in their lymph node area for several weeks have them examined at the Node Assessment Program's clinic.
To make an appointment at the Node Assessment Program, call 855-345-NODE (6633) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Each new case will be immediately assessed and triaged to determine its urgency. Appointments will be scheduled by the end of the business day.
Node Assessment ProgramDana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders CenterAttn: Lauren Driscoll – SW320450 Brookline AvenueBoston, MA 02215
Phone: 617-632-5508Fax: 617-582-7434
Rachael Grace, MD, MMScDivision of Hematology/OncologyInstructor, Harvard Medical School
Catherine S. Lachenauer, MDDivision of Infectious DiseasesAssistant Professor, Harvard Medical School
Karen Watters, MD, MPHDepartment of OtolaryngologyInstructor, Harvard Medical School
Christopher Weldon, MD, PhDDepartment of SurgeryInstructor, Harvard Medical School
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 | Call us toll-free:
(866) 408-DFCI (3324)