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Lymph node

samNML
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2007

Hi Everyone,

I am posting this message on behalf of my wife as I love her a lot and am a bit concerned.
It has been 2 months or so that my wife has been dealing with some sort of swelling under her left armpit...I found out about it just 3 weeks ago. Athough so far it seems just like a swelling and a bit tender to the touch.... it also hurts a bit whenever she stretches her left arm.
I have advised her to stop using deodorant and although she is telling me that since she has stopped applying deodorant it's a bit less painful but we still decided to go see our family doctor and our family doc. looked at it and said to not worry about it as it seemed to be just a node? (maybe she meant lymph node?)but anyway we were still not satisfied with doc's answer so we both decided to go for our annual check-ups! and in the meantime my wife has also requsted for an axillary ultrasound of her left arm/breast which was yesterday...and apparently while in the ultrasound room, the lady who was doing the ultrasound mentioned something about lymph nodes...and when my wife asked her if there was a cyst or anything else she replied the samething again just lymph nodes...now I don't know what se meant by lymph nodes? as we all got lymph nodes everywhere in our bodies...maybe the swelling is caused due to lymph nodes but I am so confused and scared!

Has anyone ever had lymph nodes causing swelling and a bit pain? should I assume the worst?

Hoping to hear from you!

Sam

williadk
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2012

I'm hesitant to write because I don't want to add to the fear - so first remember that MANY things can enlarge lymph nodes. A woman's hormones, a cold, the weather!!

I had pain in my left arm pit for about six months. I felt the lymph node and then the swelling would go down. I had a little pain. The pain finally became so bad it woke me up at night and I knew that something wasn't quite right. I didn't think it was cancer, because pain is not a symptom of cancer.

By the time I got in to see my gynecologist the swelling had gone down and he didn't feel anything. But thankfully he sent me for an MRI which showed 'suspicious areas.' I didn't have an actual tumor in my breast, the cancer was deep into my chest cavity and had already spread through my ducts and out into my lymph nodes. Even my mammogram was clean.

Two very large and misshaped lymph nodes were seen on the ultrasound of my armpit (axillary area). From there I was sent to a breast surgeon and had them removed where it was discovered they were cancerous.

During the whole time, I was being assured by my gynecologist and the breast surgeon that they felt it wasn't cancer - so it was a surprise. They felt it was a virus of some sort that had 'settled' in the nodes.

I know I just gave you reason to worry and I don't want you to. Just keep pursuing the ultrasound, a biopsy, etc., whatever is recommended and ask lots of questions.

For the record - I am now cancer free - almost a year now!! I did have chemo and a mastectomy with removal of several nodes! But I'm cancer free!!

Good luck and please keep us posted on the outcome.

salls41's picture
salls41
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2012

Just want to say what a great husband you are to reach out here in concern for your wife. I can not respond directly to your question, I just want to say PLEASE do not stop asking questions of the professionals until you are 100% guaranteed there is nothing to worry about. I had a painful breast lump which my gyno felt was a simple cyst in need of draining but to be on the safe side she sent me for additional tests and my cancer was discovered.
Sending positive thooughts your way that this is nothing...
Sandy

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

As the previous ladies have said--this well could be nothing. But (and it's a big but), knowing what I know now--I would not rest until a biopsy was done. My mammo was "normal" in June and then 4 months later (after ultrasound, MRI and biopsy) I was diagnosed with Stage 3C breast cancer.

If I were your wife, I would go to a breast surgeon. Then, if it's "something" it can be dealt with right away and if it's nothing, you both can stop worrying.

Best of luck and please keep us informed. This is a very caring group.

Hugs, Renee

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Sam, I don't know what it might be, but, if you don't feel satisfied with the answers you are getting, please seek another opinion. It is always best to be overly careful then to let something slip by.

Good luck and keep us updated,

Kylez

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I too think you are a pretty wonderful husband to reach out and ask questions. I agree, keep asking questions until you and your wife are satisfied you have answers. Other tests that might be considered are CT scans and a pet scan (although pet scans are so sensitive they often show false positives).

One point for you to keep in mind...you have reached out to a group of people with confirmed breast cancer. Our stories will confirm or add strength to your worst fears. Our minds automatically go to that scary place, even though logically we know that there are many things that can cause a lymph node to swell or be painful.

We also know that testing, waiting, worrying, and wondering are the worst part of all this. I wish you and your wife peace as you look for answers.

Please come back and let us know what happens.

Hugs,

Linda

jessiesmom1's picture
jessiesmom1
Posts: 717
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Sam,

I want to commend you for coming here for support and information. As supportive as my husband was during my diagnosis and treatment I do not think he would have thought to come here.

In 11/2009 I noticed a lump in my right underarm. It was sore to touch. I had a mammogram and there was nothing unusual in my breast tissue but way out at the edge of the visual field there was "something." I had an ultrasound, PET/CT scan, excision biopsy and a complete axillary dissection where 22 lymph nodes were removed. A Tissue of Origin Test was performed, also. Of course, all this diagnostic testing takes a little time. In that time the lump became more painful and did seem to grow. It was determined that I had breast cancer (Stage IIa, grade 3) despite the fact that no cancer was EVER found in my breast tissue itself. About 5% of all breast cancer patients present in this way. I had a right mastectomy and 16 rounds of chemotherapy. No radiation or hormone treatments. It has been almost 2 years since my last treatment and I am doing well.

All that being said, you should know that there are other reasons for swollen lymph nodes other than cancer. The most common is some sort of infection. Your wife was wise to get an ultrasound but she won't really know exactly what she is dealing with until some sort of biopsy (there are different types) is done. I firmly believe that you have to be an advocate for your own health. Since this could be an atypical presentation of breast cancer (or even a lymphoma) she should insist on a biopsy. Isn't it better to be sure?

Good luck and PLEASE keep us posted.

IRENE

samNML
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2007

Hi again,

Thanks for your kindness and quick replies...I do really appreciate your support and am very Thankful!
However, all the replies to my message posted today lean towards Cancer which isn't really assuring but as Irene mentioned it may not be cancer after all...(praying God)

Assuming IF this is Cancer in lymph nodes, are or will there be any other symptoms associated other than swollen armpit node?

Thanks

Sam

jessiesmom1's picture
jessiesmom1
Posts: 717
Joined: Jun 2010

Hello again Sam. In my case, there were absolutely NO other symptoms other than the swollen and painful lymph nodes in my underarm. Most, but NOT all breast cancers, first show up with a lump or bump that was not noticed before by the person. My lump just happened to be in my right axillary lymph nodes. I am not sure what other symptoms you might be thinking of that your wife might have. As others have suggested, lumps are NOT to be ignored.

IRENE

midnight10
Posts: 74
Joined: Sep 2010

don't give up until you find out that everything is OK. Two years ago this month I had a swollen--very slightly sore--lymph node in one armpit. By the time my dr. could see me it was 2 lymph nodes and after mammograms where they tried to include the lymph nodes, ultrasound and biopsies, I was diagnosed with TN bc. Don't discount any swollen sore lymph nodes, please.
I didn't have any other symptoms except a little more tired than normal, which I attributed to a stressful few months before then.
Prayers your way.
Cindy

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

They should NEVER be ignored..since your posting "name" dates back to 2007 did your wife have breast cancer then? If so that's reason enough to have it biopsied....

My bc returned not in my breast but returned in my lymph nodes..noticed the node right above my clavicle bone....won't go into the details...

Again other things can cause swollen nodes but 2 months is a long time...I wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a biopsy...then scans if needed...

I have a wonderful husband and you sound like one too!
Keep us posted and hopefully all will turn out well...

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

They should NEVER be ignored..since your posting "name" dates back to 2007 did your wife have breast cancer then? If so that's reason enough to have it biopsied....

My bc returned not in my breast but returned in my lymph nodes..noticed the node right above my clavicle bone....won't go into the details...

Again other things can cause swollen nodes but 2 months is a long time...I wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a biopsy...then scans if needed...

I have a wonderful husband and you sound like one too!
Keep us posted and hopefully all will turn out well...

samNML
Posts: 19
Joined: May 2007

MAJW-- back in 2007 I had posted a topic about colon Cancer as I was then concerned about my wife since she had blood in her stool and that turned out to be due to internal Hemorrhoids...and I am hoping for the same outcome this time too!!

So you are saying if someone has a swelling under armpit for 2 months or more then that's for SURE cancer? I am soo depressed now! I don't think I can handle this! I rather die to be honest!

Sam

jessiesmom1's picture
jessiesmom1
Posts: 717
Joined: Jun 2010

Sam, you are going to make both yourself and your wife crazy. What all of us are trying to say is: your wife needs to get those swollen lymph nodes biopsied. That is the only way she will know for certain if the inflammation is due to cancer, infection or perhaps some type of blockage in the lymphatic system. That is the ONLY way to be sure what is going on. Just do not ignore it and expect it to go away. If it DOES turn out to be cancer your wife will need you. You CAN handle this. Others who have come before you have done it and so can you. I am 2 years out from my last chemo and am doing just fine. This comes under the category of "for better or worse. In sickness and in health."

IRENE

MAJW
Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

No, Sam, I am NOT saying it's cancer for sure...! But as I said if this has been going on, for 2 months SOMETHING is wrong and she and you need to find out what is going on and sooner rather than later....

salls41's picture
salls41
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2012

Sam please keep in mind that you posted to a board of people who have had to deal with cancer so we are naturally going to "assume the worst, pray for the best" because we lived that scenario. We are all encouraging the biopsies because we know it is the tell all and will give you the answer you seek. We are all waiting to hear the results! Stay calm until you have a true answer!
Sandy

laughs_a_lot's picture
laughs_a_lot
Posts: 1368
Joined: Mar 2011

the doctor is the best thing you can do at this point until you are satisfied that it is NOT cancer. It could be a number of things, but you want to find out that it truly is not cancer and the only way to do that is to keep on the doctor. It is not his wife that will die if he is mistaken. Ask him what he would reccomend doing if it were his wife.

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