23 answers

Lump Under Armpit?? Can Anyone Help Me??

hello - i was wondering if anyone else has ever experienced a reoccuring (maybe never really leaving) lump under either of their armpits? since about July I have had a lump under my armpit - and i have been on several antibiotics and they may reduce the swelling briefly but never permamently - and in recent weeks its actually gotten worse - now the lump is bigger than its ever been and it, and my arm and entire underarm area are constantly sore - and even more sore when its aggitated and/or aggravated. Its also warm to the touch. I have also been nasueous and had the "chills" for several weeks.

I went to the dr today and they drew blood, and have me scheduled to see a surgeon and are going to get an ultrasound done as well - but i am going to "the dark places" with everything it could be - and since the dr doesn't really know what it is - that isn't really very reassuring.

I just was hoping that someone else had been through this and its something really simple and common or something...

can any one help me?

S. w.

What can I do next?

More Answers

Hi S.,

I am so sorry to hear about your lump. About 2 years about, I thought I found a lump on my left breast, so I went for a mammographam. I left out the door and later received a later stating that something on the test requires further testing. I went to my doctor and he sent me to a surgeon. The surgeon wanted to take out the lumps that were under my arm. They call the lumps under you arm lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are in your neck, under your arm and in the groin. They generally respond to an infection, so that's why you were given anti-biotics. I would recommend that you pray and do research on lymph nodes to get an idea of their function. Prayerful, there was no finding from the (3) lymph nodes that were found under my arm, but I was very scared as well. Please keep us posted on your results

about 3 months my father in law who is in his late 70s found a large lump under his arm.low and behold it was cancer related.today it is the sz of a xl egg and quite painfull.it has gotten to the point where he just cant lower his rt arm.the dr says it cant be removed because he will die.so what ever u do dont ignore ur problem seek any medical treatment that u cant because it can cost u ur life .good luck and my god bless u

Not that I'm a doctor or anything but it sounds like what my brother had as a teenager....Cat Scratch Fever. My brother had surgery to remove the lump (under the armpit) and is doing fine. Keep us updated on your condition and hope you find relief soon. Take care.

Dear S. my sister had this same problem with a reaccuring boil. They tried everything untill they discovered tht it was a problem with the ducts under her armpits. they took a biospy of the lump too make sure it wasn't cancerous and thankfully it wasn't. So what they did was go in and remove the ducts from underneath her underarms and she hasn't had this problem since. That was almost 3yrs ago. So maybe suggest that they check ur ducts under ur arm. I hope that all turns out well for u! Won't hurt too check.

I had the EXACT same thing! I went through blood work, mammograms, chest CT's and numerous exams. They found that it was from shaving. It was a lymph node that became inflamed when I would nick the skin with my razor and then apply deoderant. The things that I do now (aside from having lazer hair removal which I am having done soon) is to ALWAYS use a fresh razor on your armpits, use bacitracin ointment immediately after shaving, and wait about 8 hours after shaving before applying deoderant.
My doctor explained to me that a cancerous lump is not painful and does not come and go. This made me feel a little better. But, your absolulely correct for getting all these tests done anyways. Try doing some of these other things as well with shaving.
Hang in there!

Since you have cats, let the doctor know. I had a friend who got "cat scratch fever" and was relieved to be diagnosed with that rather than something more serious..... She had a lump too and the doctor scared her that it might be cancer.. but it was cat scratch fever (don't know the medical name) and it was cured with antibiotics.

Hi S.,
If I were you, and this is just me speaking, I would get a second opinion and seek some type of xray. There is a myth that if the lump hurts it is not cancer (sorry to sound morbid just clarifyling truth). My Aunt (my fathers sister) had a lump under her arm, it hurt terribly, her whole arm hurt too (just last April). She ended up with cancer and has been undergoing chemo. She had cancer as a teen too and beat it and now in her 40's she has it again and is only allowed so much chemo. Ok, on a brighter note, it may also be a cyst? I had one and it did hurt. My advice is go to a specialist, have xrays done and find out what it truly is before you assume. Get every test done becaue you never know. Better to be safe rather than driving yourself crazy.
Please, keep us posted and know you are in my prayers!

Please continue with your doctors testing. That being said, Lumps that are painful typically are not cancer. Let us know what happens.

When I get sick my lymphnode under my arm gets very sore and swollen. Did you have colds recently?

I get them too and always wondered why they hurt and they hurt when i lift my arms, I have asked but my doctor and gynecologist says its just my lymph nodes. I also figured out that my deoderant was causing them to hurt more,....I stopped using the one kind for like a day or two and the pain went away. I still get them and am trying every kind of deodarant too...the only one i found that works is my fiances spray deodarant for men.(the Brut kind...by the way it smells wonderful and not too manly)

But I would still get them checked if your getting feverish.

The symptoms would tell me that it's cellulitis. That causes heat, and fevers and chills. www.webmd.com It sounds like your doctor was treating you for that. You may want to check the name of the antibiotic online and see if that is usually prescribed for that. Different antibiotics go to different parts of your body, and one will not work for other problems.
Cellulitis sometimes needs surgery if it doesn't go away with antibiotics, if your doctor hasn't explained that to you yet, then you should see another doctor. Maybe he is sending you to the specialist for that though. These days you need a specialist for everything, the doctors only treat minor colds. lol It's a crazy system. I wouldn't worry, it doesn't sound like you have anything bad wrong. It's just and infection that is hard to treat. You may want to look into organics and a vegan diet so that stuff like this is less likely to happen to you in the future though. There are too many poisons in our food system these days.
Here is some sites to check out:

lymph nodes swell when working on infections. most likely they are not draining properly. i was on a course of antibiotics for a swollen node the size of a tangerine under my left arm. that was 13 yrs ago.....not dead- good luck.

Take a breath & follow the doc's directions. Yes, I've had the lump but without the 2ndary symptoms. Mine was a lymph node that showed up on a mammogram when my mom was dying of breast cancer that had mets to the liver. I was scared as it sounds like you are. I, too, did what you're going through & saw the surgeon....barely able to catch my breath from all the crying I was doing. Please remember that when sick, the lymph nodes will be enlarged, tender, etc. It sounds like your doc is following protocol with your symptoms & is covering all bases.

One step at a time...breath & remember the ole saying of "when you hear hoofs, do you think of horses or zebras?" Horses is the 1st & most logical.

I had a lump under my armpit. For about a year. The doctor said it was a cyst. Then it grew larger and hurt alot. The rest of my underarm area was sore also. It actually leaked pus/blood. (like from a pin whole). I got it removed and biospyed and it was a hardended infected cyst... no cancer.
The doctor said I shouldn't wear underwires because of the pressure and the flow of lymph is infringed. -- I wore non underwires for about a year. I'm back to underwires. and I'm fine. I'm 36 -- This happened 2005-2006.

Could be a cyst or an infected hair folicle (sp?)

Hi S.

I am going through the exact same thing right now. For years I had always had a small bump under my arm then a few years ago it got bigger and bigger It started to get very swollen and It was very painful. I went to my doctors and he said it was either a sweat gland or a small cist so he drained it. It was good for about two years but in the past month it's gotten alot bigger and very painful.I am wondering myself what it is and what to do about it. I will not get it drained again because that was the worst pain ever so I think I am going to ask to have it remove. Hope that helps

When I was pregnant with my first, I had something very similar. Man did it hurt!! It was an infected sweat gland that cleared up with a double dose of antibiotics. If it reduces in size when on antibiotics, it makes a bit of sense that it is some sort of bacterial infection. With me, I think it was caused by the underwire in my bra since my breasts got cartoonishly large and the underwire ended up in my armpit. I got multiple infections. Once I quit breastfeeding and I returned to my normal size, I never had a problem again.

As for cancer...Cancer will get bigger on it's own, but I'm sure that it doesn't shrink from antibiotic use.

You also may have a cyst of some sort. It may have to be removed surgically.

hi S.
my names is A. and about a year or 2 i have noticed the same thing i have been to about 15 to 20 doctors in tell i found this one and she she it was apart of the way i was shaving she also told me that they can remove them still have them but i am going to set it up to get them removed. my boos had the same thing and get them removed and said it was the best thing that she ever did and she no longer gets any bumps under her arms and she told me to get them removed so i will tell you the same if i was you i would talk to your Doctor about getting them cut out
your's truly
A. m.

I had that for a time in my life in college. The dr that I saw said that mine was probably clogged glands that could be caused by the deoderant that I was using at the time. Very painful! I switched, and they eventually went away, so you may want to try it too. I would still stay in close contact with your dr to make sure that all your bases are covered.

I see you have cats. It could be cat scratch disease?
My son had a very big lump under his armpit when we was about 4. My regular dr. was on vacation so we seen another and he said he never seen it that bad. He was on a very strong antibiotic and went a way.
I would of never guessed this because we don't have a cat but he must of been playing with a neighbor's and got scratch without me noticing it.
Something to think about.

I have had a number of sebaceous cysts all over my body, including under my arm. Most of the time, they are pea sized lumps that are just annoying. However, if they get infected, they get enlarged and extremely painful and hot to the touch. Most doctors won't remove them until the infection is gone and they are small again. If it does turn out that this is what it is, the surgery is done outpatient with just a local. Good luck.

I have experienced lumps in my arm pit area. The first time I was convinced I had breast cancer (it runs in the family) and was freaking out. when to the dr's and found out my glands had become infected and their suggestion was to stop shaving and stop wearing deordorant until it healed. I did as they said and it worked. I still shave my underarms and when i use normal deordorant they come back so I use only the natural rock salt deordorant and I have been lump free. Good luck and I hope it's something like that for you. Do they suspect you have MRSA? My son had MRSA and the lump was in his leg, warm to the touch and he felt sick. They'll need to culture to figure that one out. Good luck!

hi S.,

i know it's a truly frightening thing you are going through, but just go through with the blood work before you make any conclusions.

i had a huge mass removed from my ovary that the drs. were convinced was ovarian cancer. after they biopsied it, they found it was benign. i understand the dark place you are talking about. for about 10-12 years i have recurring small lumps; sometimes 3 and 4 at a time, also painful and warm to the touch. when i would stretch my skin you could see them. it scared the hell out of me, especially after having my cancer scare. one doctor finally figured out it was just folliculitis. my glands would clog up causing ingrown hairs. they tend to come more often when i am run down, or under stress.

again, i am in no way, medical professional, but there could be a very simple explanation. keep us posted, and i'll keep you in my thoughts!

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