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Avatar universal

small lump in armpit

I'm 34 yrs old female, in general good health.  However, 40pds overweight.  No history of any cancer in my family.  I work out 40 mins everyday.  This past Saturday the 26th, my left armpit area was irritating me, I say irritating because it felt like a razor burn.  I felt my underarm and found a pea size lump.  I did a self breast exam and do not feel any other lumps.  On Thursday the 24th, I did shave my underarm, with a week old razor.  The lump is small, hard, and I don't have to press down on my skin to feel it, the skin feels somewhat raised, but the lump also feels alittle deep.  However the lump isn't noticable to the eye. It does hurt when I touch it and for a little while afterwards, but then pain goes away, at times it can be alittle itchy.   I've looked in a minor and don't see really anything out of the ordinary, such as a sore.  I know that it can be many thing, cyst, in grown hair, even a sign of breast cancer.  I've never had an in grown hair so I'm not sure if there would be obvious signs of that.  Looking for advice on how long I should wait to see a doctor, and should I go to a Dermatolgist or Gynologist.  And what else could this be, I feel healthy otherwise. What other things can this be.  I'm very anxious and nerves about this.  Please help!
26 Responses
233190 tn?1278553401
Any lump under the armpit (axilla) is concerning.  It could be something as little as a cyst or inflamed hair follicle, but suspicious lymph nodes also present in this area.  

Because of this possibility, I would consider a referral to a general surgeon for further evaluation.  If the surgeon believes that the lump is suspicious, a biopsy can be arranged.  

I would discuss this option with your personal physician.

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.
Medical Weblog:
Avatar universal
One more thing, everything I've read mentions breast cancer, this lump appeared suddenly, is that generally a bad sign indicating cancer.  Also, what would be the signs if any if this lump was just a cyst.  Very afraid!
Avatar universal
This could also be a lymph node.  I have a swollen one (for over a year now from when I noticed it) behind my left ear (hard and small) and another one under my jaw (left side) soft and moveable.  I had been concerned about lymphoma or throat cancer.  I saw int doc & ent doc and had bloodwork which came back normal and both doctors were not concerned stating that your lymph nodes are infection fighters and I possibly could have had an infection at one time in my life and they just never returned to normal.  My point being that I did Sooooo much research on swollen lymph nodes (which you do have under your pit) and it is something I would have looked at as soon as possible.  Not to scare you, but for me I was releived to hear one of the many things it was instead of the few horrible things it could have been.  I would suggest seeing your int doctor before your gyn.  Good luck & try not to worry!
Avatar universal
Thank you for the comment and reassurance.  I guess my mind can do and think the craziest and worst thing.  Anyway, what is an INT Doctor? sorry for the dumb question.  Also, just after my shower tonight I took at look in the mirror to see if I can tell more closely what it is, the lump is under the skin, round, pea size, hard, I squeeze it and it looked like there was puss coming out of a pour.  Anyway, how long should I wait to see a doctor? 1 week?
Avatar universal
int doc...Internal medicine doctor or your family doctor.  I also think (without bieng a doctor) that it is probably an ingrown hair.  You say you shaved with a dull razor, and it could be under your skin.  I have heard of people who have their glands swolen by ingorwn hairs!!  I would go to the doctor soon, if not to find out what it is, but releive you of what it isn't!!   I also wanted to state when I said you do have them under your pit, I was saying you do have lymph nodes under there not that what you have under there IS a swollen lymph node, just that they are located there too and it could be something to do with lymph node instead of breast or tumer.... Good Luck!
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for the advice again, I'm deathly afraid, but I will make an appointment with my doctor this week.
Avatar universal
I'm just going through this same problem.  On 3/1 awoke with  two painful lumps in my left armpit.  I immediately called my Dr., he saw me next day.  They were swollen, hot and painful. He looked at them and said folliculitis (fancy name for infected hair follicle).  He prescribed antibiotics for 10 days.  It took the pain away after 3 days and considerably shrunk the lump.  Was off the antibiotics for approximately 10 days when low and behold, 3 more popped up (1 in the armpit, 1 in the groin and another have mercy was in my privates).  Back to the Dr., he said now I have to be on the antibiotic for 30 days and that he felt it was a staph infection.  In addition, I've got to put bacitracin in my nose at bedtime for 3 weeks.  He advised that staph is a common bacteria that everyone has on their body.  It actually lives in the nose.  You see, I had been ill with a viral thingy for about 4 weeks before the outbreak.  It seems as though my immune system was depressed and the bacteria was able to get a good hold on me.  Hopefully, we can get rid of this, cause it's miserable and I don't know what we'd do next.  Hang in there.
Avatar universal
Let me know what the doc tells you!!

God luck, try not to worry (although I know it is implssible)
Avatar universal
again, many thanks for the advice and input.  Its nice to know that I'm not alone here.  I'm waiting for a call from my Dr to see when I can go in and see her.  If I can't see her, I think I'll make an appointment with my gyno.  Although it is sooooo hard not to worry, I'm trying to stay optimistic, its just hard, thoughts go everywhere.
Avatar universal
i saw the dr yesterday, said it was a swollen lymph node.  He said it wasn't isnt anything to worry about and the size is very small and it doesn't even appear to need antibotics.  He said it should resolve itself in about 2 weeks.  I'm feeling better about it now that I saw a doc. but do you think I should get a second opinion.  I just dont want it to be anything more serious, obviously.

Avatar universal
So glad you got with your Dr.  If getting a second opinion will ease your mind and give you peace, then by all means do it.  If you're afraid of offending your Dr., he doesn't need to know.  If he does get offended, then get rid of him and find a new one!  

My lumps have finally disappeared and no more pain.  I've still got another few weeks on the antibiotic.  I'll continue faithfully to get rid of this bug.

Hang in there and keep us posted!
Avatar universal
Thanks De-De, I will keep you posted. I'm making an appointment today with another doctor.  After this weekend I thought its probably the best thing to do, if for nothing else to ease my mind.
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