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Tenderness under left armpit

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I am a 24 year old Asian female. I have noticed a tenderness under my left armpit for the past couple of years. I noted it once to my doctor that there was a mild/pain tenderness whenever i touched my left armpit, but her reply was to avoid touching the area.

The tenderness has not progressed or spread in any way, but it is chronic. Recently when I palpated the area, I noticed what felt like a small nodule, less than 1cm in size. Is there a chance that this is breast cancer or an infection of my lymph node due to some other cause.

I'm not sure if I should have the area examined and/or get a mammogram to double check.

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replied January 20th, 2010
Lymphoma Answer A9344
Thank you for your question on

You have a swollen lymph gland of the arm pit. The most common cause for an enlarged, tender lymph node is infection in the vicinity or area of its lymphatic drainage. A breast cancer-related lymph node is not likely. Cancer related nodes are usually not painful unless they are increasing rapidly and causing pressure changes.

A complete examination of the area for any focus of infection and treatment with antibiotics when one is found is advisable. If there is no detectable infection, it can be monitored after a course of treatment with antibiotics for changes in its size.

An unresolving node may need needle aspiration or an excision biopsy. Any medical history of fevers or vaccination will help in coming to a diagnosis. You may want to consult your doctor again for an examination. Thank you.

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