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Breast Cancer

Enlarged lymph nodes found in mammogram

10/26/2007

Question:

I got a fine mammogram result but they found enlarged lymph nodes under my right arm pit. The doc wants to do a cat scan of my abdomen to make sure nothing is going on.

That doesnt make sense to me. Can you help me as I am afraid of having some kind of cancer

Answer:

Enlarged lymph nodes can be normal in some people, but can also be a sign of cancer.  They are usually benign when just picked up on a routine mammogram and not enlarged enough to feel on physical examination.  The most common cancer-related causes of enlarged lymph nodes under the arm would be breast cancer, melanoma, or lymphoma.  If there is no other obvious site of cancer, sometimes lymph node biopsy is required.

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Response by:

Doreen M Agnese, MD Doreen M Agnese, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery and Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University