• size of the node - not very helpful in determining if the lymph node is benign or malignant.

• capsule present/intact.

• appearance of the cut surface and colour - pink or grey in normal nodes, variegated with distinct nodules in metastatic carcinomas, uniformly whitish with fish-flesh appearance in lymphomas. Can be black in metastatic melanomas.

• nodularity - prominent in Hodgkin's lymphoma, sometimes follicles are prominent in follicular lymphoma.

• necrosis - caseous /cheesy in tuberculosis, pale friable areas in high-grade lymphomas, also seen sometimes in Kikuchi's disease.

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