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Breast Cancer

Enlarged Lymphnodes Under Arm and Breast

09/27/2011

Question:

I was diagnosed with follicular thyroid cancer about 6 years ago. Since then I`ve had enlarged lymph nodes in my neck. Now I have enlarged lymphnodes under my arms and around my breasts. Sometimes they are painful. I`ve had mammograms and ultrasounds, diagnosed with cysts. I fear that I`m being misdiagnoised which I was 6 years ago. What do I do? What are my choices? Should I worry?

Answer:

Persistent enlarged lymph nodes can be an indicator of something more serious, or a reflection that your body is fighting off an infection. Generally, if your body is fighting off an infection, the lymph node enlargement resolves within about two months. However, if it does not, this needs to be further evaluated. This could represent a recurrence of your thyroid cancer, or a possible new cancer of the lymph nodes, a new cancer from somewhere else like the breast, or a benign cause. The person who is in the best position to help you is a surgical oncologist.

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Response by:

Elizabeth  Shaughnessy, MD, PhD Elizabeth Shaughnessy, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati