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Swollen & painful lymph nodes in armpit

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2013

Hello All,

I am new here. I am throwing out this question to see if anyone has had a similar experience.

I am a 7 year breast cancer survivor. For the last 5 weeks I have had tenderness to the touch with not much swelling to my left armpit. (The opposite side of where I had breast cancer 7 years ago). I went and saw my breast doctor 2 weeks ago regarding it just because of my history. She did a mammogram and ultrasound and could not find anything. She decided to do an MRI which I had this past Friday. I am still waiting for the results. Since Friday I have noticed some swelling now, which I did not have before, and the pain has increased, where before it only hurt when pressure was applied, now it hurts all the time.

Has anyone had a similar experience? What did you find out? I was not thinking it was cancer because my breast is fine and my mammogram was good. But I have read some things online from women who had the same situation and it was cancer. So confused and a bit anxious now.


Thank you!!Undecided

jessiesmom1's picture
Posts: 869
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Lori and welcome to the CSN message boards.

I am a 4 year breast cancer survivor. I found a lump in my right underarm and a battery of testing commenced. Ultimately it was found that the lump was breast cancer. No lumps, masses, tumors etc. were EVER found in my breast tissue. I had a right mastectomy and it was found that 2 of 22 lymph nodes were cancerous. It sounds like your doctor is doing the right thing. Depending on what is found in the MRI you might want to discuss having a PET/CT scan and/or a biopsy of some kind.

It is understandable that you would be confused and a bit anxious. Waiting is always difficult.

I wish you all the best. Please keep us posted.


Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2013

Thank you Irene! I am hoping to hear from my doctor today concerning my MRI.

childofthestars's picture
Posts: 250
Joined: Jan 2011

Thinking of you Lori - keep us updated......


lintx's picture
Posts: 689
Joined: Sep 2012


I didn't have your experience but want to say welcome, and I'm hoping for good results for you.  Hugs, Linda

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2013

I got the results for my MRI. No cancer!! Thank God for that! So what is going on??? My Breast Doctor told me to go see my General Doctor, so I have an appt. tomorrow at 9:30am. I have no clue what is going on. I do know that it is getting increasingly tender, but still no redness and not much swelling. Very strange. Hope to get some answers tomorrow.

Thank you for all your support!!

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2013

Thought I would give an update on my situation. I went to my general doctor and she prescribed an antibiotic because she had no idea what it could be and thought we would try and treat it like it was an infection. Well, that did not solve my problem. Still have the pain in my left armpit, and its hard to tell if there is a lump or not. My general doctor gave up, I believe, because she told me to go see my oncologist, which is where I started with all of this.

So I am now going on 9 weeks with no answers. I am so frustrated. Don't know what to think or do.

Does anyone think it is possible that it could be cancer and they are just missing it, even after an ultrasound and mri??? Anyone with any insight would be greatly appreciated!!!

Thank you!

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

I had a CT Scan last summer for a lung issue I had. By accident, they found enlarged lymphh nodes in my neck near my vocal cords. The lung dr. wanted them removed as well as the mass in my lungs. Unfortunately, the lung surgeon couldn't removed the nodes and the lung mass at the same time. A couple weeks ago, I had another CT scan. I asked about the lymph nodes, and they were no longer swollen. It was just a fluke, or it was connected to the lung mass, or some other unknown condition.

I hope you find some relief or answers. 

Posts: 7
Joined: Oct 2013

Just got a message from my Cancer Survivorship Doctor and she is going to talk with the medical oncologist on staff and see what can be done. Keeping my fingers crossed that  they can find out what is going on.

Thank you for your support!


Posts: 28
Joined: Sep 2014

I've heard some vascular doctors can diagnose lymphatic system issues, that might be another type of doctor that could help.


GlowMore's picture
Posts: 794
Joined: Feb 2008

This post was a year ago.............   not sure if this lady is still posting

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