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When to report enlarged LNs to oncologist?
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When to report enlarged LNs to oncologist?

Hi, some quick history recaps -
- I had a 2.5cm fibroadenoma under my right armpit removed at age 19.  The axillary breast tissue grows back at the same location after giving births to my two babies, and disappeared after I stopped breast feeding.
- I had colonoscopy and polypectomy of 5+ colon polyps & low anterior resection with total mesorectal excision of 2.5cm rectal cancer last December at age 35. I was told that it was stage 1 with no lymph node invasion.
- My scans show small assumingly benign  lesions in right liver lobe, upper right lung lobe & right pelvic bone. My radiologist & oncologist recommend chest/ab/pelvis CT every 6 months for 2 years to monitor these lesions.
- I am not pregnant, but the breast tissues under my right armpit grew back after my surgery.  When I palpate it, I can feel a few tiny hard movable lumps deep in there that are tender to touch.  I can't tell whether they're the breast tissues or enlarged lymph nodes.  They have been there for over a month now and sizes don't change with menstruation.  

My questions are:
- How do you tell the difference between fibroadenoma and enlarged lymph nodes in axilla?
- Should I wait for my regular 6 mos scan to clear this up, or report to my oncologist sooner?

I prefer to wait if possible as hospital and cancer clinic visits make me feel anxiousand exhausted. I just want a few months of sanity time alone and away from the doctors.

Thank you in advance for your reply!
Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi,
How are you? Lymph nodes are found throughout the body such as groin, armpit, neck, under the jaw and chin, on the back of the head and behind the ears. Knowing the anatomical locations, clinical examination and diagnostic tests may help differentiate these lymph nodes from muscle or cysts. The lymph nodes can become enlarged and may or may not be painful. The soreness usually goes away in a couple days even without treatment and the size usually becomes normal  in size after  several weeks.You can try to observe for a few more months to make sure that there are changes in size. However, if it persists and other symptoms arise, it is best that you have this checked by your doctor for proper management. Take care and do keep us posted.
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