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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Breast Cancer

Question: Small mass found under arm - breast cancer?

 CharacterMatters - Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:56 am

Hi There,

45 y/0 very healthy and health conscious white female. I was shaving under my arms when I noticed on the side of my body, about one hand's length directly down from my arm pit, a raised portion of skin. When I felt it, it didn't hurt, but seemed to be bit larger than a quarter sized area of soft tissue mass. It is not hard, but soft and seems denseish. From certain angles in the mirror, I can't even find it. However, it is clearly raised skin at one angle.

I will make an appointment Monday, however, I want to be reassured it isn't anything.

Many Thanks,
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:47 am

User avatar Hello,
It is difficult to tell what this swelling could be without direct clinical examination.
But according to your description at this site, this could be of lymph node, a breast tissue in the axially tail, or a fat tissue origin.

Some females have an extension of their breast tissue in the axillary tail that is felt more or less like a lump of a consistency similar to the breast and is usually painless. It is not a pathologic condition and needs no intervention.

Subcutaneous fat in this area could also give similar clinical picture and sometimes excess fat deposition in this area is not bilateral.

Lymph node enragement in the axilla commonly occurs following infection and inflammation in the area drained by them like the upper limb and skin of upper chest wall and they remain palpable after recovery although they regress in size.

Lymph node enlargement may occur also in females due to physiological changes in their breast (fibroadenosis). In both conditions lymph nodes are small <1cm, mobile, soft to firm and painless.

Direct clinical examination of the mass and the breast will allow the identification of possible causes and guide further investigations for exclusion of serious conditions like cancer.

Please keep us updated.
Best regards.

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