Medical Specialty >> Oncology

Doctors Lounge - Oncology Answers

Back to Oncology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Breast Cancer

Question: Sudden axillary lymph node pain

 calliopequeen - Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:48 pm

I am concerned about sudden axillary lymph node pain that has begun this past week. It is concentrated on the upper part of my right breast arching down towards the armpit. There does not appear to be any swelling on any of the lymph nodes although pressing on them does create a tenderness and pain (about a 6 on a scale of 10)

I do not have any swelling in any other lymph nodes nor do I currently have a virus, fever, or bacterial infection.

I do monthly breast exams and have found no evidence of a lump.
The pain seems to increase with use of my arm (if I raise it up it tends to feel heavy in that area)

For a few days the pain seemed to radiate down my arm specifically below the elbow with tenderness between my pinky and ring finger. Ibuprofen seems to alleviate this pain. I also have tenderness in the shoulder (front area) that seems to be somewhat muscular in nature

I also have a strain to my trapezius muscle on that same size which is creating tension in my upper back. Massage has alleviated this pain to a degree but I have had a spastic Trapezius for years.

I have regular menstrual periods and am expecting my next period to begin in 2-3 days.
I am 34 years old, do not have children

Any insight to what may be causing this sudden lymph node pain (if that's what it appears to be) would be greatly appreciated. I am currently uninsured so do not want to rush to a doctor and pay out of pocket for multiple tests unless it seems like a severe situation.

Thank you.
 calliopequeen - Sat Oct 31, 2009 4:10 pm

Just an update on this post.
Shortly after I posted, I had someone give me a shoulder massage and then the soreness across my breast and under the arm became more pronounced but when I woke up in the morning, there was no longer any pain on the top of breast or under the arm.

I have been experiencing a continuing ache in my lower arm from elbow to wrist but I believe I have a pinched nerve somewhere on my shoulder.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:49 pm

User avatar Hi,
Your description of the 'lymph node pain' first led me to think of a problem in the 'axillary tail' of the breast. But your subsequent post made it less likely.

If your pain is indeed due to the 'spastic trapezius', it is more likely to be over the outer aspect of the shoulder blade (scapula).

As the pain is now felt in the region 'from elbow to wrist', it appears more like a radicular pain referred from your cervical spine.

The trapezius area is supplied by the C4 segment.The skin over the axillary area is supplied by the C4 & 5 segments. C5 & 6 segments supply the outer aspect of the forearm.

The distribution of the pain in your case could be due to cervical spondylopathy.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us