Painful lymph nodes and breasts--cancer? infection?
I need help understanding what's wrong and what to do about it. And if I'm just being too impatient expecting results this soon. As women, we're told to get prompt attention for lumps or breast pain because it could be cancer. It all began with tender lymph nodes under my arms last Wednesday. By Thursday, they were painful and swollen and my breasts hurt. Through Friday and Saturday it didn't improve. Sunday was worse. So I went to Urgent Care. I saw a "holiday relief" doctor who listened to my symptoms and asked "So, what do you want from us?" He reluctantly examined me and pronounced I had lymphadenia. Swollen lymph nodes and glands. Cause? "Some infection, probably." He gave me 500 mg Amoxcillin to take 3 times a day. The problem is, it has gotten worse. Now the lymph nodes down my upper arm to the elbow are painful and my chest HURTS. Not just my breasts, but the underlying tissues also. The nodes under my arms are very painful today, almost burning. I feel awful. It gets progressively worse throughout the day. I think sitting up and having the weight of my breasts, even in a bra, against gravity makes it worse. I cannot go without a bra, it hurts too much. I've tried long warm showers, but that doesn't seem to help. I called UC back tonight when they opened at 5pm. The nurse said it takes 72 hours for the antibiotic to be effective and that if it was wasn't better, I should go to my PCP. When I told her it was much worse, she said I might want to go to the ER because I might need IV antibiotics. The problem is, I'm allergic to so many antibiotics, that doctors just don't have many choices. I would think it would help to know what kind of infection I have so that the antibiotic could be chosen for the right type of infection. Is there a blood test or something to diagnose that? And, should I be concerned about breast cancer or lymphoma? So, what to do? Go to my PCP if I can get an appointment in the next century? Aside from the PAIN, is this serious? It is definitely getting worse.
It is true; lymph nodes become enlarged due to an infection somewhere in the body ... this is their job. Antibiotics do not work immediatly and it may take more than one course to get results. At times the particular drug needs to be switched to another type. I would suggest that you make that appointment with your PCP and let them know you have been to UC and are on antibiotics without improvement. With this widespread involvement of nodes I wouldn't be too concerned about Breast Cancer. Regards .....
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