I discovered a lump in my left armpit about 3 weeks ago. I immediately made an appointment and went to see the doctor. Because I also came down with a rather sudden case of bronchitis, we agreed that it was entirely possible that this could be related. I began taking Augmentin twice a day. Recently I went back to the doctor for followup. Unfortunately, instead of reducing, the lump is now larger (about the size of a large marble. And now it is somewhat painful because of the pressure my arm puts on the area. I've been told this could be something as simple as an enlarge lymph node or perhaps a clogged milk gland. Last summer I had my annual mammogram (I'm 50 yrs. old), and the doctors were concerned enough about the fibrous nature of my breasts to ask me to come in again for an ultra-sound and then send me to a specialist. She assured me that the area is nothing to worry about. Then about six weeks later I discover this lump which seems to be growing in both size and tenderness.
The doctor has made an appointment for me to see a surgeon to see if she will recommend a biopsy. However, I've also been told that a needle biopsy could actually spread infected cells throughout the body. What is the best approach for me to take here?
I believe that working this up further is the right course of action and that the biopsy may not really be avoided at this point. The enlarging nature of this lump, even if it is just a lymph node as assessed by your doctor should prompt for further tests to ascertain its nature.
A fine needle biopsy should not spread the infection, and the concomitant intake of antibiotics would further reduce this risk of spread.
I suggest that you talk to the surgeon more regarding the needle biopsy and form a well informed decision.
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