Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Underarm Lump

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 2 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • May 16, 2007
  • 02:40 PM

Hi, I'm a 19 year-old male and a few weeks ago I noticed a lump under my right arm, just below the armpit. It's approximately pea sized, similar to or smaller than a baked bean, and is a regular oval-ish shape. It feels hard and swollen, but not extremely. Originally there wasn't any pain (or at least I didn't notice any), and whilst it's still not painful to touch, I'm occasionally noticing a feeling of tenderness in the area, though it's not constant. I'd say the lump is movable, but it's a bit difficult to tell- it seems to move from side to side under slight pressure. As far as I can tell I don't have any other symptoms.

I personally don't have any previous medical history that I can think of to explain it, but my maternal grandmother had a mastectomy (although, unlike me and my parents, she was a heavy smoker early in life), and my mother's cousin died very recently in her fifties after suffering from cancer. Although I don't know what kind of cancer it was, I've become very worried about it and if there might be a connection.

I know swollen underarm lymph nodes are a common symptom of lymphoma, but I also know that they swell up for a lot of less serious reasons. I have a long-standing anxiety about going to see doctors/hospitals, but I'm worried that if I have something serious it could be getting worse. I don't know whether, in my case, the stress of getting a consultation, potential scans etc. would be worth putting my mind at ease.

Has anybody else had similar symptoms, and how did things go?

Reply Flag this Discussion

2 Replies:

  • hello 19 yo male...countless people on this site with similar problem...I'm one I get swollen in neck, pits and groin Lots of people, same symptom...negative for HIV>>> google symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis painful, swollen lymph nodes are one...there are many symptoms for a long time I couldn't figure out how excessive gas and sneexing had to do with the same disease process...and I'm a nurse of 15 years when I found ME info...I didn't know what to do...all symptoms were there...every last one...and there were many that's why docs can't figure it out, yet too many unrelated symptomssymptoms come and gotoo many body systems affectedtoo many specialist when I visit OB/GYN...I tell him OB?GYN prob when I visit GI doc...he doesn't ask about sneezing...he's interested in my diarrhea when I visit cardiologist...he wants to hear about my heart problems...not the fact that I have excessive gas...make sense?? Good Luck and God Bless...mommy cat
    mommy cat 1654 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Underarm Lump (sorry...don't know how to address you :rolleyes:)First, exactly how many weeks ago? Can you venture a specific date? Or even specific week? And then, has it grown? Do you know what date you started to notice discomfort?Here's the thing about taking something like this to the doctor: if it gets worse, grows bigger, gets warm, hurts more, for a while (like a week or less), and this has been going on for weeks, then you need to go to the doctor. You have cancer in your family history, and it is worth the anxiety of going to the doctor under those circumstances.If it gets better (even very slowly), starts to shrink, is less uncomfortable, then you are probably safe not going to the doctor.My advice is to take a pen (easy writing ball point might be best) and draw two outlines: one around the smallest area you can say "this is it" and one around the largest area you can say "this is it." Why two? Because drawing an outline around a lump that is under the skin is a non-exact science. Why draw at all? Because you are going to use the lines to see if the thing is ANY bigger in three days. After you take a shower, carefully re-draw the lines where the ghost lines are left (no cheating and making the lines bigger). Anything that grows a noticeable amount in three days is something you have to take to the doc.But the lines will also help you gage if it is staying the same size or shrinking.Finally, if you start to run a temperature, or get another lump going, or if this lump starts to turn red/heat up, you need to go to the doctor right away. There are a lot of things a lump can be. Some ideas: It can be a sign of a virus, and all going to the doc will do is let you know that you have a virus. It can be an infected lymph node. Doc can give antibiotics. It can be cancer. It could even be the result of some kind of bug bite (seems a long shot). So the two big reasons you would go to the doctor, is if you need antibiotics, or if you need the lump removed.Does that help you work out how to make your decisions?Let me know. :)Best,Shula
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.