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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Breast Cancer

Question: swollen lymph node in under arm

 Ayesha-nasir - Mon Nov 03, 2008 1:12 pm

I'm 20 years old, i do not smoke, drink or take any sort of drunks. my height is 4 11'' i'm underweight (33kgs) i have tried to improve my weight but i just can't gain but my weight is very stable. the lymph nodes of my under arms are swollen, in my right under arm it is a little below towards the ribs, however on the left it is in the middle of the underarm and slightly bigger. it doesn't bother me much, just slight pain sometimes, it is soft, moves easily. i've examined my breasts, there is no lump there. i'm really worried, my sister had a lump in her breasts and got it removed, it was not cancerous.
what do you suggest i do? thanks alot
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:12 pm

User avatar Hello,

It is reassuring that you felt no abnormalities in the breasts, but still direct clinical examination is essential.

It is common to have lymph node enlargement following infection or inflammation in the area drained by this lymph node group, they regress in size but never to normal size following recovery from infection or inflammation. Axillary lymph nodes enlargement are commonly seen also in females who have fibroadenosis (benign condition) and are felt as non specific lymph nodes.

These nodes are felt as mobile, soft to firm, less than 1cm.Warning signs include increase in their number, size or when they become matted or fixed to the skin or to the underlying structures.

I would advise you to follow up with your doctor and to inform him with any symptoms, at least to be reassured.

Please keep us updated.
Best regards.
 Ayesha-nasir - Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:52 am

thank you very much, but i haven't had any chest related infections in a long time, this lymph has been like since atleast 2 years. is a biopsy, x ray or blood test needed?
last year when i felt it i showed it to a doctor, he was not able to find it as i was really shy and scared to show it to him.
last time i had a swollen lymph node in my neck, it was due to a chronic tooth infection.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:56 pm

User avatar Hello,
Axillary nodes drain not only the breast and upper chest wall, but also the whole upper limb; the arm, forearm and the hand, so any infection in these parts would make these nodes enlarged.

It is reassuring that they are as I understood stable and small enough to be missed by your doctor.

However, it is important to inform your physician about them next visit and there is no problem at all in helping him or her feel it.

Direct clinical examination after your medical history is the best way physicians use to decide whether further investigations is needed or not.

Please keep us updated.
Best regards.
 Ayesha-nasir - Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:21 am

thanks alot.
i'll let you know if there is any progress.

where can i find out about colour blindness? my mother is red/green colour blind, and i want to find out whether there is any chance that my children can be colour blind? my dad is normal, my mothers dad was colour blind and mothers mother was the carrier.
i'd be grateful if you can guide me in this aspect.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:31 am

User avatar Hi Ayesha-nasir,
The lumps in your armpits could be lymph nodes. Lymph nodes in the axilla drain the following areas...
a) chest wall (including the breasts)
b) abdominal wall above the level of the navel
c) back of the chest upto level of the navel
d) entire upper limb.
Although we tend to think of breast being the source of the primary problem, we should keep in mind the above facts and look for pathologies in these areas as well.
Small boils, moles or other skin lesions in some of these areas may not be too obvious (for ex:over the upper back).
Ofcourse the breasts have to be critically examined to rule out any pathology.

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