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Mildly enlarged axillary lymph nodes cortical thickening 4mm


I recently had my first screening mammogram in Feb and was called back due to an assymetry for diagnostic and possible ultrasound and couldn't get back in until May. During the second one, some lymph nodes were found. I've been asked to come back in 3 months and 6 months. I've been going down the rabbit hole and panicking. Esp because the radiologist was asking me questions like "have you been sick recently? do you have arthritis? Vaccines recently?" and my answer was no to all of those. I'm 41(f). I was given a birads 3 and the radiologist wants me to come back in 3 months for another ultrasound. Does anyone else have similar stories about lymph nodes turning out to be nothing? Here is my report if anyone can help. Thank you all and praying this is just all precaution.

EXAM: TOMOSYNTHESIS DIGITAL DIAGNOSTIC RIGHT MAMMOGRAPHY AND BREAST ULTRASOUND HISTORY: 41-year-old female presents in callback from screening examination for a right breast asymmetry.

TECHNIQUE: Mediolateral and spot compression views were obtained using a digital tomosynthesis system (3D imaging). Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) was utilized. Ultrasound of the area of concern was then performed.

COMPARISON: 2/28/2024 FINDINGS: Mammogram: Tissue Density: The breasts are heterogeneously dense, which may obscure small masses. Additional imaging evaluation was performed for an asymmetry in the right outer breast.

On the current examination, the asymmetry persists with additional views but has imaging appearance of potential fibroglandular tissue.

Diagnostic Ultrasound: No suspicious cystic or solid lesions are identified. Normal fibroglandular elements are seen. There are scattered subcentimeter simple cysts in the right outer breast.

There are incidentally noted mildly enlarged right axillary/axillary tail lymph nodes with cortical thickness of 4.0 mm.

IMPRESSION: 1. Mildly enlarged right axillary tail/axillary lymph nodes are probably benign. Recommend follow-up right breast ultrasound in 3 months.

BI-RADS 3. 2. Asymmetry in the right outer breast is probably benign. Recommend follow-up diagnostic right breast mammogram in 6 months.

BI-RADS 3. ASSESSMENT: BI-RADS Category 3: Probably benign.

FOLLOW-UP: Follow-up imaging evaluation in 3 months.

RECOMMENDATION: 1. Diagnostic right breast ultrasound in 3 months. 2. Diagnostic right breast mammogram in 6 months. Findings and recommendations were provided to the patient at the time of exam completion.


  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 999

    Hi @ish41gotthis , There are many causes of enlarged lymph nodes other than cancer including infections, vaccines, inflammation and injury. I developed an enlarged lymph node after my surgery and radiation. My radiation oncologist ordered an ultrasound and another one three months later. At that time the lymph node had become smaller and in another three months it was back to normal size. He couldn't determine the cause but it was something other than cancer. Imaging can't diagnose cancer so there is nothing to be gleaned from the ultrasound report other than the doctor thinks it is probably benign and is keeping an eye on it to make sure. Stay away from Dr. Google who always imagines the worst possible outcome and follow up with your scheduled appointments. Hopefully it will turn out to be nothing serious even if the cause remains a mystery. All the best.

  • ish41gotthis
    ish41gotthis Member Posts: 3

    Thank you for your response @maggie15!

    I'm trying my hardest but struggling to not ruminate and let my thoughts run wild. I didn't get the opportunity to ask the radiologist the proper questions I wanted….like what is she going to be looking for when I got back in three months. And if the lymph nodes remain the same…what does that mean? Additional monitoring or what?

    I appreciate you sharing your story and positive words of encouragement. Thank you!

  • anxious66
    anxious66 Member Posts: 30

    I am sorry you find yourself here worrying. I too have what I believe to be a lymph node situation except I have pain and swelling with no abnormality shown on either ultrasound or mammogram. Naturally I went down the Google rabbit hole and diagnosed myself with cancer even though my tests were normal. I think something was missed. It is good to hear that you will be monitored. I’ve just been sent on my way with an “ everything looks normal” see you in a year. I hope everything turns out well for you. Just know you aren’t alone in your worry.

  • ish41gotthis
    ish41gotthis Member Posts: 3

    Thanks for response @anxious66 and words of support. I'm sorry as well that you weren't given more insight into the pain and swelling that you're feeling. Its promising that your results were normal ….but I can imagine that it doesn't settle your concern about the symptoms. Are you able to speak with you GP about it further?

    I'm definitely still riddled with anxiety. I now feel an enlarged lymph node on my lower neck area on the same side as the axillary ones that showed up on the ultrasound. I'm not sure if I'm playing mind games with myself ….but I've scheduled and appt with my GP on Friday to get that checked out and hoping its nothing. Thankful that we're all doing our preventative screenings and praying for positive outcomes.