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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Breast Cancer

Question: 20 year old female with possibly persistent lump in armpit

 jem1314 - Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:43 pm

Hi, I'm a 20 year old female. I have no family history of cancer. I've had no surgeries before and have no past diagnoses.

Less than a week ago, I noticed a lump in my right armpit which hurts when I pressed my arm down against the side of my body. The following day I had fever and flu. It's been about 4 days since my fever started and I'm almost well, except for phlegm. I am on antibiotics only.

Today, I noticed that the lump is still there but it no longer hurts when I press my arm down against the side of my body. It does, however, feel a bit painful or sensitive when I press the lump with my fingers. The lump is roughly 1cm in diameter and 2cm in length. It does not move around and feels hard. The skin color of my armpit is normal.

While I had fever and flu, I visited my family doctor and asked him about the lump. He felt it and told me it was just skin growth and NOT a swollen lymph node. He advised me to monitor the lump for any changes or increase in pain. But somehow that did not make me feel any less worried.

Later on after the appointment, I remembered that when I was about 10 or so, I had a large bulging pimple under my arm. I can't remember which arm specifically, but it might have been the right arm. The pus came out soon and the pimple dissolved. The next time I noticed a lump in my armpit was when I was 14. Similarly, I am not 100% sure which arm it was but it might have been the right one too.

So now I wonder if the current lump I have is a serious problem, and whether it is possibly related to the pimple I had when I was 10, or the lump I noticed when I was 14. If it is the same one then and now, what does that mean? Do I need a second opinion from a dermatologist or some other specialist?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:21 pm

User avatar Hello Jem1314,

I suspect that the lump you are feeling is a lymph node that has become enlarged due to your recent infection. It is very unlikely that the lump you are now noticing is related to the lumps you noticed years ago.

Your description does not make me particularly concerned about a cancer type lump. I would suggest you continue to follow this over the next several weeks. If the lump does not shrink back down or if it is getting larger I would recommend you have your doctor evaluate this. One note, if you check it every day you'll just stress yourself out so I would recommend you only check on the lump about once a week. This way you'll have an easier time noticing changes as well since there will be more time for change.

Best wishes.
 jem1314 - Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:45 am

Thanks so much. My flu is pretty much gone now and I have noticed the lump has reduced in size and no longer feels sensitive anymore.

Once again, thank you for your advice.

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