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Armpit lump - not lymph node

20 Oct 2018 14:58

Hi everyone I’m new here 

I found a lump in my armpit / side left Breast area 6 weeks ago it’s not painful and feels pretty hard and maybe a small marble size.

i have also had some burning sensation type pain in both breasts but didn’t think anything of it 

I am 37

i went to the doctor yesterday and she had a feel 

didnt really say anything just she would do a two week referral however when I got home I received a phone all from the nurse from the surgery asking me to pick up the paperwork as the hospital will be calling to arrange an appointment by Tuesday this week.

i have not been too concerned as I have not seen many story’s of lumps in armpits and no lumps in the breasts 

my nipples are fine and my skin appears normal 


I just have this painless lump which does not appear to be on a lymph node and the burning type sensations (abit like a Chinese burn ) 


did is anyone else have a lump in the armpit that turned out to be BC


i am remaining positive but at the same time feel you should always kind of prepare for the alternative as you never know what is around the corner and I’m a realist 


many thanks for any responses and I hope you are all well

Armpit lump - not lymph node

20 Oct 2018 17:20 in response to tegansmum08


Hi Tegan'smum,

Welcome to our forum, although I'm sorry for the reason that brings you here.

There are a number of lymph nodes under your arm. Try not to keep feeling this area, as you may spread infected lymph about the body if there is any cancer present. I am not a doctor, but I believe that it can be difficult if not impossible to find the lymph nodes without using a scan to find hem and then a biopsy to determine whether or not there is any cancer present.

I have had 2 bouts of breast cancer and a few scares. On both occasions, I found a lump in my breast whilst I was in the shower. Don't worry about the speed in getting your breast clinic appointment. Your first appointment usually comes through within 2 weeks. Here the consultant will examine your breasts and take your medical history. You will then likely be given a mammogram and/or an ultrasound and a biopsy. It will take another 1-2 weeks before you get the results back.

Waiting for these results can be a scary time, so I'm glad to hear that you are managing to remain positive, despite being aware that it could be bad news.

I sincerely hope that you don't have to get bad news. There are several different reasons for swollen lymph nodes.

Do please let us know how you get on. We are always here for you.

Kind regards,

Jolamine xx

Armpit lump - not lymph node

20 Oct 2018 17:40 in response to Jolamine

Thanks for your reply jolamine 

i kept thinking it would turn into a boil or become painful but it hasn’t.

im being kept pretty busy as my father has terminal cancer of the osophegus & chemo is not an option for him so we are currently planning a rush wedding!

Trying to build him up and keep him strong for the big day on the 8th December so plenty to be keeping me busy.


Armpit lump - not lymph node

20 Oct 2018 19:08 in response to tegansmum08


Hi Tegan'smum,

I was informed by both of my surgeons that cancer doesn't usually manifest in pain. Many people find that they are picked up as the result of routine or other tests and, claim that they have no symptoms whatsoever.

You don't have your troubles to seek do you? I am so sorry to hear about your dad's diagnosis. I nursed my mum with breast cancer for 12 years before she developed metastases in her liver, lungs, brain and bones. That was 21 years ago and I still remember how hard it was to care for her.

We usually advise people waiting for a first appointment or the results of tests to keep themselves busy, in order to distract themselves from the wait - It doesn't sound as if I need to say this to you. You must be a very strong person to arrange a rush wedding whilst you are dealing with all this. I sincerely hope that your dad can make the big day and that you all have a perfectly wonderful day.

I hope that all goes well for you - Sounds as if you could do with some good news!

Kind regards,

Jolamine xx




Armpit lump - not lymph node

5 May 2019 09:28 in response to tegansmum08

Hi Tegan,

Can I ask how you got on at your referral?

I have very similar symptoms to you. A month ago I had raised lymph nodes in my neck and found a small (bit larger than a pea, Dr said approx 2cm) lump under my arm, went to DR had an infection so she said under arm lump was most probably swollen lymph node too. I had antibiotics and the ones on my neck had gone right down but the one under my arm remained so I went back to the GP who said on reviewing the lump under my arm that she doesn't think it's a lymph node but a lump within the muscle and probably part of my anatomy that I've never noticed and that she didn't have any concerns (she said if it was her she would watch and wait) but as I am incredibly anxious she has referred me and I have an appointment at the breast clinic on the 15th May. I am utterly terrified. The lump isn't painful as such but it tender when you touch it, I can move it around and it's quite smooth. I am so frightened and my mind keeps going to the what ifs. I've spent the best part of 2 hours in tears this morning.


Like you I can't feel any lumps in my actual breasts neither could the GP, in face 2 GPs examined me and couldn't feel anything abnormal, the skin and my nipple all look normal too. I have had some pain in both breasts but that is something I've always had, I think hormone related.

I did have bloods taken a month ago and all came back ok. Would that have shown if something was not right?


I'm babbling now.....

I hope you're well and you had a lovely wedding. 

Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 17:31 in response to Rach86

Hi Rachel

i just wondered how your appointment went on the 15th? I have similar symptoms but my appointment isn’t until next week


Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 18:22 in response to daffy17

Hi Daffy,


I went today and ended up finding out it is a lymph node. It looks suspicious (thick in parts), whatever that means, they did a biopsy and I need to go back next Wednesday for results. My actual breat tissue all looks normal, thankfully.

I'm utterly terrified. 


Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 19:33 in response to Rach86


Im sorry I only realised that today is the 15th so sorry I hounded you straight away. 

So what does all that mean? Is it an enlarged lymph node or a lump? 

I can imagine you are frightened but the breast being clear is positive. Thinking of you xx 

Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 19:41 in response to daffy17

It's a lymph node that is enlarged, no other lumps.

The radiologist was not reassuring in the slightest and heightened my anxiety. I don't really know what it could be, she said there are 36 different diseases that cause dense nodes and wouldn't clarify more than that. I asked her if she thinks I have cancer and she said she couldn't say without doing the biopsy. I'm so petrified.

Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 19:47 in response to Rach86

I appreciate that these people deal with this everyday but to not provide reassurance is diabolical. I know they can’t give you false hope but support is what is needed at this time. I am going to my appointment alone and dreading it! I hope you had someone with you?

dont google anything and look on the plus side... I appreciate as a long term sufferer of anxiety myself it is hard but they are now looking after you medically and whatever this is they will fix. Positivity is so hard but remember you aren’t alone. xxx 

Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 19:51 in response to daffy17

My husband came with me, thank goodness as I was hysterical when she told the nurse to prepare for a biopsy - I'd read far too much before and knew they only do that if something looks suspicious.

I wish you all the luck in the world for your appointment. Thinking of you.

Please keep in touch xx

Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 20:08 in response to Rach86

Was the biopsy painful? You were lucky to have him there as it must be hard for him to see you upset.


of course I’ll keep in touch, you too 

take care xx

Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 20:16 in response to daffy17

Not at all, I didn't feel a thing other than a slight sting from the local anesthetic. It's a little sore now but I think that's more to do with the sticky parts of the dressing pulling my skin. 



Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 20:42 in response to Rach86

Hi, hope you don’t mind me joining, I’ve been following your post today, last Tuesday I went to my GP with a lump under my armpit, he said it was a swollen lymph node.. so referred to breast clinic ( appointment next Tue 21st ) he then phoned and said he was sending me for a chest X-ray ( this has come back ok ) I suffer terrible with blooming health anxiety and of course I then turn to Google !! I know that’s the silliest thing to do, but that did help me get to here and be typing this.. I was just sat in the room trying to watch telly and thought I will have a feel of my boobs as you do and now I think I’ve found a lump in my boob.. I’m shaking typing this  for goodness partner is coming with me next week so I’m not on my own, my daughter has just started her GCSEs yesterday so trying to keep my mind occupied ( nothings working tho and I feel quite scared ) 

i just don’t really know what to think.. be nice to chat to others who are in the same situation 

J x

Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 20:49 in response to girly78

Hi J 

I wish I could offer you some reassurance. I'm sure you are absolutely fine, most if these things turn out to be benign. I wish I could take me own advice and stop worrying too.

I'm glad your husband is going with you. Stay in touch. Thinking of you.

Rachel x


Armpit lump - not lymph node

15 May 2019 20:54 in response to Rach86

Thankyou for replying.. it’s the first thing I think about when I wake up.. just a constant worry, I hope your doing ok too.. 

Take care too 

J xx

Armpit lump - not lymph node

21 May 2019 12:27 in response to Rach86

Hi Rach, been looking through this forumn and just wondering how you got on after biopsy? Hope all was ok. My symptoms are simialr to you si just thought Id see how you got on.

Armpit lump - not lymph node

21 May 2019 16:38 in response to AT1987


I get my results tomorrow. To say I'm worried is an understatement, I'm absolutely petrified.

I just wish I could find good news stories of people that have had lymph node biopsies (without a known cancer) after ultrasound and had a benign result but I can't find any. Which just fuels my anxiety. I am sure there must be lots but maybe people don't post about them. 

Please think of me tomorrow, I'm so frightened.

Armpit lump - not lymph node

21 May 2019 18:05 in response to Rach86

Aw youll be in my thoughts and prayers! Im a nurse endoscopist so its usually me telling my patients about these things but its not nice being on the other end of things. Let me know how you get on. 


Best wishes

Armpit lump - not lymph node

22 May 2019 00:14 in response to Rach86


Hi Rach,

I just want to wish you all the best for your results tomorrow.

Don’t worry about not finding good reports. When people get good news most of them disappear off the forums and get on with their lives.

I shall be thinking of and praying for you tomorrow and hope that it all goes well.

Are you taking someone with you for your appointment? This is usually a good idea, especially when you are going to get results.

Kind regards,

Jolamine xx

Armpit lump - not lymph node

22 May 2019 10:13 in response to Jolamine

Hi all,

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, please keep them in mind for me as I have another agonising week to wait as results not back. So been booked in for next Wednesday afternoon instead.

My biopsy has been sent to another hospital for a 2nd opinion (standard procedure apparently) and is not back. 

After an initial melt down I'm feeling a bit more positive as the breast care nurse told me that upon looking at my ultrasound report there are no alarm bells ringing and that I actually have raised lymph nodes, with preserved helium, in both armpits that are consistent. The largest node they biopsied is 8 - 9mm in diameter which she said is small. 

I'm trying to air on the side on no news is good news but equally dreading having to wait another week.

I will keep you posted when I know more.

Rachel xx

Armpit lump - not lymph node

22 May 2019 15:51 in response to Rach86


Oh Rachel,

You must be spitting feathers! I am amazed that they didn't cancel your appointment when they didn't have your results back.

The news about your ultrasound sounds promising. It's awful having to wait another week for results, but you will get through it. Try to distract yourself from the wait by keeping busy.

Kind regards,

Jolamine xx


Armpit lump - not lymph node

4 Oct 2019 16:43 in response to Rach86

Hi Rach,


Did you find out what it was?