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what are possible causes for swollen axillary lymph nodes?
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what are possible causes for swollen axillary lymph nodes?

Hi, I am a female 42yrs old. Last week I had my very first mamogram (mammogram). A few day later the Dr's office called and said that they would like me back fir a sonogram spot check. A a few of my lymph nodes are swollen. Okay,... so I didn't panic and I immediately went in for the for the sonogram.  The sonogram seemded pretty legnthly and really concentrated specifically on the left anxilla. The nurse overall spent about 40-45 minuites doing the sonogram. Now just before the sonogram I was told that I would hear from the Dr with results in a couple days but when the nurse had completed the sono she reviewed the slides and said to me that she is going to get the Dr. Ok,.... now I was FREAKING OUT!
The Dr. asked me several questions: Any Family history with breast cancer? How have I been feeling? How long have you had this swelling? What is your medical history?

The Dr physically felt my axilla area but really nothing felt noticable to the touch except 1 of the swollen nodes that was in the most shallow area. The Dr said that to have a CT done before they determine the need for a fine needle aspiration.

Today I had the CT. They scanned both my neck & chest. The neck scan was ordered prior to the chest by a head and neck Dr I recently saw. They just added the chest to do at the same time for convenience. My primary Dr referred me to the head and neck Dr for 2 reasons (1)I have a lump on my neck about the size of a half ping pong ball and its been there about 8-10yrs. (2) about 2 years about my neck began to swell equally around to the size of a football player and after blood tests, antibiotics etc... they did not have an answer why it got that way. It went down back to normal after a few months. Now the head & neck Dr took a look at my neck and indicated its likely nothing to be worried about but he would like to se a CT for safe measure.

At this point it is Friday afternoon and I have called the Dr's office to see if results are in.  No luck so now they have left for the weekend. I guess Monday is my focus now.Dr. here are some of my the details of my medical history.

Never had children (husband vacsectomy)
Fibrocystic type skin (I think thats what its called)
Great grandmother on my mothers side past from breat cancer
The Dr believe's my neck lump is a sebacious cyst
Abt 3yrs ago my thyroid was checked & was negative
My periods in the last 12mos or so have gone from regular to every other mo.
No prior cancer. My little 34yr old brother diagnosed w/Stage IV colon cancer.
Under huge stress > 1YR.
I get edema at ankles & fingers off & on
I have genital herpes w/severe painful but rare breakouts
Briuse easily
My neck had swollen 2yrs ago
My axilla area been has and can be tender with semi firm pressure
The lymph swelling does not seem firmaly fixed
I have no change in the way I feel

I know you can not diagnose me and I understand your answers are just the possibile things I may be looking at.

Thanks Becky
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Any lymph note swelling in the axillary region has to be evaluated for cancer.  In a 42-yo female, breast cancer is one of the more serious causes that needs to be evaluated for, and I suspect they are ruling out.  

Mammogram views and possible ultrasound of the suspected areas would be reasonable evaluations.  The CT scan is done to determine if there are any other enlarged lymph nodes that could not be felt.  

More definitive evaluation would be accomplished by a biopsy - and this can be discussed with your personal surgeon.

If cancer has been ruled out, various types of viral infections (i.e. HIV), or infectious cysts can be considered.  

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
Thanks very much for your help & info. I just now heard from the Dr. regarding the CT scan. He said that the CT scan did not show any cancer type properties but they would still like to know why some of my axilla lymph nodes are swollen. I asked the size of the swelling and he stated they are now noted being they all are 1cm or less.

Now for the bad news!

There is something I was not aware of. The Dr said the sonogram did show something in the left upper outer (twords armpit) breast tissue. I asked the size and it is about 11mm x 9mm. So now I will be meeting with the surgeon to consult for a fine needle aspiration.

I understand this is the right protocall & they need to find out what this is. I hate how scared I am. I try to think it will be okay but its hard.

Cancer petrifies me! My little brother 34yrs old was the biggest health & fitness nut around. He was diagnosed 8mos ago w/stage IV colon cancer! I see the hell my brother goes thru. This is a horrible disease! The lights somethmes dimming in his eyes as the cancer takes its toll. Its heartbreaking & scarry.

I know I may find out it's cancer & I will deal with that if it happens but,till then I would feel a bit less anxious if I had a focus keeping my mind out of overdrive. Good or bad it's the unknown & my lack of knowledge that makes this almost unbearable. I am the kind of person that likes to get things over with asap. I deal better with facts & data.

Do you know what the average percent of patients called in for a fine needle aspiration turn out to be malignant?

Thanks again
Becky T
   not a doc but i was under the impression 1 cm and smaller are normal sized lymph nodes (I've had enlarged lymph nodes in my neck for about 5 years now.)  I think if they were enlarged and went back down to normal size, that's a good sign.  Cancer grows, not shrinks.
hey. i'm actually only 15. my armpit glands are like swollen .. i dunno why. it's been like that for a while now. like 6 months. i dunno what it is .. i've been to a doctor and they gave me antibiotics but nothing happened. it only hurts if i press on it. what should i do? please e-mail me, because i don't usually check back here. ***@****. pleasee e-mail me back. thank you so much.
Hi I am 20 years old and i have lump in about the center of my left underarm, which I assume to be a swollen lymph node, this lump is tender to the touch. My mother died of Neuroendocrine Cancer this past december and I am terrified this might be cancer to. Any feedback on what this might be or maybe any little signs of how to tell if it is just an infection or cancer would be very helpful. Also i have a pain in my arm and my neck muscle on the left side that comes and goes, could this be connected? I am making a drs appt for wednesday, i will let you know how it goes.
Yeah hello, college girl, im 22. Just wondering how things went with the doctor? i have a swollen lump under my right jaw and a slightly smaller (less defined one) under my left. i am so worry i've came home from college/university becuase of the stress. what did ur doctor say???

hello, im 18 years old and i have a lump under my right ear next to my jaw and another one under my left armpit. my jaw aches sometimes and when i went to the dr he just made it into a joke and said that its probly just an infection and it will go away. i have been going to a different dr for 2 years on and off with these lumps. the one under my arm is just a recent one although the one in my neck has been there for 2 years now. i woke up one morning and it was the size of an egg under my skin, then it gradually went down and now it is around the size of a marble, but hurts. what is it?
Hello I am a 29 year old mother of 5 and I have a swollen lymphnode between my left jaw and ear,It started with apair of silver earrings that break my ears out and got my ear lobe all puffy and sore and then I noticed a lump in my neck it hurts very bad I sometimes get them under my left arm pit too.Can any one tell me what this is?
hello peps, i have noticed the same problem, however my two lumps are the size of a small marble..under my jaw....which seem to get bigger or my neck swells up after drinking beer...even one :-( is this normal... what can i do to stop this happenening...

does stress make things worse?????

i've got a doctors appointment next week, but i cant sleep with worry....
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