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Do cancerous axillary nodes hurt?

armom4 Member Posts: 82
edited February 2022 in Pain

Those who've had mets to axillary nodes, did they hurt? Mine are enlarged and MO wants to scan again in 6 months. Now, they've started to hurt. Sort of a constant ache. What was your experience?


  • parakeetsrule
    parakeetsrule Member Posts: 605

    I had cancer in my axillary nodes and it didn't hurt. None of my mets hurt either. It's so different for everyone, and a lot depends on the amount of cancer, exactly where it is and what it's doing, and everyone's particular bodies. It can be hard to compare sometimes. It doesn't matter if mine didn't hurt if yours are hurting.

    Also just want to add that after I was told there was cancer in my spine, my back immediately began to hurt! But it was all in my head. After a few days it stopped.
  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,820

    I would try to get a referral for a lymphadema evaluation. That often presents at a constant ache. This site may be of some assistance in finding someone who is certified & trained (they are scarce as hen's teeth)

  • laughinggull
    laughinggull Member Posts: 483

    My cancerous lymph nodes didn’t hurt. I second the suggestion of consulting a certified lymphedema therapist

  • armom4
    armom4 Member Posts: 82

    Thanks yall. I didn't even think of lymphadema! I guess because my BS told me since I only had 1 node removed, I wouldn't have a problem with lymphadema. I know that's not totally true. I don't notice any swelling though. I have an appointment with my PCP coming up so I'll make sure to mention it. I'm in the process of switching MOs right now so I'm waiting on a date for my first appointment with the new one. Boy do I have a lot to tell her!

  • sondraf
    sondraf Member Posts: 1,448

    I must be an outlier because my cancer-infused axillary nodes DID hurt. They hurt before diagnosis and in fact, that's how I knew the cancer was probably starting up again because intermittent aching returned (de novo dx). Sure enough, next scan they were lighting up and they've now been removed along with my primary. No more annoying pain! The pain wasn't constant, it would just start up on its own at random times (usually through overuse of the arm) just to remind me it was there.

  • maryjv
    maryjv Member Posts: 269

    AR, I had one node removed and unfortunately developed lymphedema. I also did not notice swelling but was inpain!! Working with PT and using my compression sleeve and glove really helped me! Good luck!

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,820

    AR - what Mary says and unfortunately LE can present - even with one node - up to 35 years later!!! Unfortunately the education most docs get in 7 years of medical school about LE amounts to 15 minutes per Stanford prof.