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Second Opinion on Armpit Lump ?

Hello. I am a 47 year female with a non-tender, hard and fairly large (over 2 cm) armpit lump that has existed for at least 8 months. I've been referred twice to the breast clinic in my area for ultra sounds of the lump. However, each time, the ultrasounds have come back "clean." The breast center doctors have also evaluated the lump, and think it's related to some type of benign muscle swelling. I am a little concerned though because it has gotten more prominent over the last four months (and has never shrunk in size). This lump sits right near the top portion of my armpit, so I've always contended that it is not breast tissue. However, I wonder how far lymph nodes extend in the armpit area. My medical history does include 3 previous large benign ovarian tumors (with the last one resulting in a full hysterectomy at age 27). I've also had a small benign papilloma right breast tumor removed (about 4 years ago). I have two other newer symptoms that concern me 1) Mild night sweats -- I wake up damp almost every morning, and 2) I have a non-tender, non-itching rash that appears in my armpit and runs down the inside of my arm (on the same right side as the lump). Would you recommend I see a second opinion and provide the type of doctor I should see? Thank you.
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replied May 2nd, 2010
Without personally examining you, I cannot offer a specific diagnosis. However, in cases such as yours, where there is a palpable lump, but nothing shows up on ultrasound or mammogram, then an MRI scan can sometimes offer additional information. Ultimately, however, any armpit or breast mass that appears clinically suspicious should be biopsied, even if it cannot be identified by by ultrasound, mammogram or MRI.

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

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