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Topic: Anyone had painful, swollen arm pit/axillary area?

Forum: Not Diagnosed With a Recurrence or Metastases but Concerned —

Meet others concerned about developing a recurrence or metastases.

Posted on: Dec 6, 2017 09:35AM

karody wrote:

Nodes in my left arm pit are a bit enlarged and there is significant swelling, even extending into my left recon breast and down left ribcage. It hurts! There is pain all day and enough to wake me up at night when I roll over. My original tumor in 2009/2010 was on the right side, with 4/16 positive nodes. I have a fine needle biopsy scheduled tomorrow (Thursday), but I'm wondering what things can be detected or ruled out with it. My doc says usually mets don't hurt.....but I can't imagine any infectious reason for this swollen node, since I'm not sick and have no injuries. Anyone else have a painful armpit? Please tell me your experience with this.

Dx 9/10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/20/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/21/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 3/14/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/9/2010 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 9/19/2010 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 10/26/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/19/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Dec 6, 2017 10:30AM MTwoman wrote:

So sorry that you're worried about possible mets, karody! Is there any possibility that it is LE?

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/19/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Dec 6, 2017 01:25PM karody wrote:

I kind of hope so! But it is on the contra lateral side from my original tumor and lymph node removal. I have had lymphedema on the right arm before, but I was lucky it resolved.

Dx 9/10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/20/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/21/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 3/14/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/9/2010 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 9/19/2010 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 10/26/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/19/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Dec 6, 2017 10:29PM KBeee wrote:

Lymph nodes are fickle. My son had to have a lymph mode biopsy because he had a 3 cm femoral node. It was just inflammation. All they could find was a blister on his toe. He actually had 5 swollen nodes. The docs did say FNA is not 100% accurate if they don't get a good sample, but paired with imaging, it can be very accurate.

Hoping biopsy is benign

Karen. Dx 8/5/2013, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/26/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/20/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 12/12/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 1/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/29/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/2/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Dx 2/25/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/25/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 3/31/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/25/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 7, 2017 10:25PM karody wrote:

So had the biopsy today. Radiologist said several nodes were larger than they should be. They sampled from the largest one, 2.3 cm. Radiologist said I should have my results by tomorrow, so fingers crossed!

Dx 9/10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/20/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/21/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 3/14/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/9/2010 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 9/19/2010 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 10/26/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/19/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Dec 7, 2017 10:30PM marijen wrote:

I would really like to know because I’ve had a 2cm one for 2 1/2 yearsand three Ultrasounds that don’t show anything unusual. But I have pain from it.


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Dec 7, 2017 11:03PM KBeee wrote:

Keep us posted. Hoping they are bdnign

Karen. Dx 8/5/2013, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/26/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/20/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 12/12/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 1/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/29/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/2/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Dx 2/25/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/25/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 3/31/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/25/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Dec 7, 2017 11:26PM Beatmon wrote:

I hope you get a good report and something can be done to resolve your pain

Dx 7/27/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/9/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 12/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/1/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 8/9/2014, IDC, Both breasts, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/27/2014 Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Dec 9, 2017 09:10PM karody wrote:

So, this is what happened. On Thursday, the pathologist told me the pathology would be done in the morning and be reported by lunchtime or so on Friday. My oncologist's office is closed on Friday, so even though the test is done, no one called me with results! Grrrr! So agonizing weekend of wondering, but hopefully they will call me first thing on Monday.

Dx 9/10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/20/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/21/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 3/14/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/9/2010 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 9/19/2010 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 10/26/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/19/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Dec 11, 2017 10:27AM MTwoman wrote:

Karody, did you hear any news this morning?

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/19/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Dec 11, 2017 12:04PM karody wrote:

YES! The nurse just called and said the diagnosis was "reactive nodes," so no cancer! Yayayayayay! I have been pretty emotional getting ready for the holidays with my 13 and 14 year old kids. No one who has not been through cancer could possibly imagine how terrifying the thought of leaving them would be. I'm so lucky for every day with them. We are all lucky to live in the first time in history that cancer can often be cured. If we had let Mother Nature have her way, my kids would have been without a mother since they were 5 and 6. But I'm so lucky to raise them myself! Now....I just hope this lymph node swelling will go down, so it's not so painful. Thanks everyone for your support!

Dx 9/10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/20/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/21/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 3/14/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/9/2010 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 9/19/2010 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 10/26/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/19/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Dec 11, 2017 12:17PM marijen wrote:

Hi Karody, glad to hear you're OK! Did they say what your nodes might be reacting to? How long have they been swollen?

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Dec 11, 2017 01:17PM karody wrote:

They said must be something viral. I was sick about a month ago, but got over it before the nodes swelled about 2 weeks ago. Who knows.....it seems crazy to me. My whole life, not only during cancer, but every time I've ever been sick, I have never had a node swell like this. I guess the body is aging ;)!

Dx 9/10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/20/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/21/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 3/14/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/9/2010 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 9/19/2010 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 10/26/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/19/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Dec 11, 2017 01:19PM karody wrote:

PS, I'm 43. And lucky to be!

Dx 9/10/2009, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 4/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/20/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/20/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 2/21/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 3/14/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 9/9/2010 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 9/19/2010 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 10/26/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 3/19/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Dec 11, 2017 01:37PM marijen wrote:

Yes you are young. This was posted at another topic. They can see if your node is positive or not.

Joined: Mar 2010 Posts: 943

djmammo wrote:

Many of you have experienced pain under the arms or felt "swollen" lymph nodes and have had reports that were just short of complete in describing them in my opinion.

The overall size of a lymph node is more often less important than their internal architecture in breast cancer. The key is the thickness of the cortex and the appearance of the fat that lives in the center of the lymph node. When cancer cells enter a node the collect in the cortex making it thick. The increased volume of the cortex enlarges the node and compresses the fat in the center. An abnormal lymph node can be small with a thick cortex and completely effaced fatty center. A normal lymph node can be very large but have a very thin cortex and nice plump fatty center. If the cortical thickness in not included in a report that indicates an enlarged node, I would ask them to revise the report.

The images below are US images and corresponding line drawings of the progression from normal node to abnormal node on ultrasound. (From "the bible" 'Breast Ultrasound' a text book by A. Thomas Stavros, MD, the world's foremost authority on the subject)

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Dec 11, 2017 04:58PM KBeee wrote:

Great news on the biopsy!


Thanks for the images djmammo & marijen

Karen. Dx 8/5/2013, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/26/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/20/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 12/12/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 1/23/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/29/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/2/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Dx 2/25/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 2/25/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Prophylactic ovary removal Chemotherapy 3/31/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/25/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)

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