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Doctor insights on: Do Chronic Swollen Lymph Nodes In The Arm Pit Most Likely Mean Breast Cancer

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Ct neck shows scattered subcm short axis dimension lymph nodes anterior posterior cervical chains bilat. 2 x triple neg breast cancer surv. Biopsy?

Ct neck shows scattered subcm short axis dimension lymph nodes anterior posterior cervical chains bilat. 2 x triple neg breast cancer surv. Biopsy?

Imaging/biopsy: You have been through a lot. Imaging with ct scan provides information and helps guide next steps, but is not diagnostic. A biopsy obtains tissue for pathology to make the diagnose of lymph node. The timing of biopsy in relation to your overall health will be best addressed between you and your doc. Take family or friend with you. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,344 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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Do chronic swollen lymph nodes in the arm pit most likely mean breast cancer?

Do chronic swollen lymph nodes in the arm pit most likely mean breast cancer?

May need biopsy.....: If the lymph nodes are persistent after seeing your doctor and being evaluated for a possible infection and perhaps being treated with a course of antibiotics, a consultation with a breast cancer surgeon may be needed. Also, a proper breast exam with your doctor, mammogram and ultrasound should be performed if not already. ...Read more

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Do long-lasting swollen lymph nodes in the armpit most likely mean breast cancer?

Do long-lasting swollen lymph nodes in the armpit most likely mean breast cancer?

No: There are many reasons to have swollen lymph nodes. Some are common problems, like infection other are cancerous. Breast cancer is not the only cancer to cause lymph node enlargement. This can only be answered with an examination by a doctor. ...Read more

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Swelling of lymph nodes under the arm is a symptom of breast cancer? Are the swollen lymph nodes supposed to be pain-free?

Swelling of lymph nodes under the arm is a symptom of breast cancer? Are the swollen lymph nodes supposed to be pain-free?

No neccasarily: Lymphatic system absorbs/carries things too big to go into the arteries/veins like bacteria eaten by white cells and digested food. Lymph nodes "taste" the lymph for anything bad like bacteria/viruses/cancers, etc. When it detects a problem, it alerts the immune system and your body reacts. They enlarge in response to the inflammation they create when they react. They shrink when all is well. ...Read more

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Swelling of lymph nodes under the arm is a symptom of breast cancer, are the swollen lymph nodes supposed to be painful or pain-free?

Swelling of lymph nodes under the arm is a symptom of breast cancer, are the swollen lymph nodes supposed to be painful or pain-free?

Pain due to infectio: Painful lymph nodes are usually inflammatory or infectious. Cancer lymph nodes usually don't hurt unless they are very large. ...Read more

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I have 2 peasize swollen lymph nodes been under armpit for 6 months. No pain/itch. I'm 24 and not married, would there be a chance for breast cancer?

I have 2 peasize swollen lymph nodes been under armpit for 6 months. No pain/itch. I'm 24 and not married, would there be a chance for breast cancer?

Unlikely at your age: Your entire axillary area you will have 20 times more lymph glands than 2 , any inflammation in upper arm chest, breast will result in enlarged lymph nodes besides tumors , pea size is not big, in thin people they can be feel normally, don't worry, go and see your doctor. ...Read more

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Are swollen lymph nodes in neck a sign of breast cancer?

Are swollen lymph nodes in neck a sign of breast cancer?

Depends: Usually lymph drains centrally, so suggests throat/sinus/ear infection--unless limited to nodes at base of neck/upper chest, then possible. See dr for exam. ...Read more

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If woman has lymphedema (first time) caused by breast cancer (15 yrs ago), can lump on breast be swollen lymph node or is cancer more likely?

If woman has lymphedema (first time) caused by breast cancer (15 yrs ago), can lump on breast be swollen lymph node or is cancer more likely?

Not lymph node: There really are no lymph nodes in breast tissue. Bumps in the breast could be from cystic nodule or another breast cancer. I would recommend seeing your doctor to evaluate your axillary lymph nodes with respect to the lymphedema. ...Read more

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Could a swollen lymph node be breast cancer?

Could a swollen lymph node be breast cancer?

Possibly: A swollen lymph node in the armpit could be from breast cancer but in most patients, it is much more likely to be a benign swelling from a number of other causes. Regardless, you should have your doctor check it out. ...Read more

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Diagnosed with shingles 5 days ago; have lymphedema on 1 arm from removal of 30 breast cancer involved lymph nodes — what if shingles spreads to arm?

Diagnosed with shingles 5 days ago; have lymphedema on 1 arm from removal of 30 breast cancer involved lymph nodes — what if shingles spreads to arm?

Secondary infection: Good news is that shingles always follows set patterns. The outbreaks follow the course of a sensory nerve. So, if the outbreak isn't now near the arm, it is very unlikely that it will go there. You can search online for shingles dermatomes to see the patterns. If it does make it to your arm, secondary infection is your biggest concern. Be careful the blisters do not pop and become infected. ...Read more

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Have swollen lymph nodes in 3 places, breast, groin and armpit. Could I have cancer?

Have swollen lymph nodes in 3 places, breast, groin and armpit. Could I have cancer?

Uncertain: Other things besides cancer can cause lymph node enlargement but it certainly warrants being checked out by you primary care physician. They may elect to follow you for a few weeks to see if it doesn't go away. If not, they may refer you to someone to do a sampling which can be done as a small surgery or needle procedure. ...Read more

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Is it possible for breast cancer to spread to bones even if it didn't reach the blood system or any lymph nodes?

Is it possible for breast cancer to spread to bones even if it didn't reach the blood system or any lymph nodes?

Possible: Hi ASandler,
Typically, cancer spreads through the bloodstream (hematogenous spread) or the lymphatics as you stated. However, direct invasion is also possible. ...Read more

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Surgeon said occult breast cancer spread to 2lymp nodes under arm no sign cancer in breast. Surgeon advise remove lymph glands, leave breast. Should i?

Get an MRI: Mri of the breast can pick up otherwise hidden cancers. If still no primary in the breast, it can be left intact and radiated instead of mastectomy. ...Read more

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Surgeon said occult breast cancer spread to 2lymp nodes under arm no sign cancer in breast. Surgeon advises take out lymph glands, live breast. Should?

Surgeon said occult breast cancer spread to 2lymp nodes under arm no sign cancer in breast. Surgeon advises take out lymph glands, live breast. Should?

Standard treatment: The surgeon is giving you the "best evidence" advice. Without detecting any tumor in the breast, it is safer, less mutilating, less painful, less expensive, and better psychologically to leave the breast in place. Usually the tumor is so tiny that it cannot be found. Often, chemotherapy (to kill any cancer cells elsewhere in the body) and radiation to the breast is done. Good luck! ...Read more

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How long does it take for untreated breast cancer to spread to the lymph nodes?

How long does it take for untreated breast cancer to spread to the lymph nodes?

The spread in months: Well it depends on the aggressiveness of the tumor itself since the grading of the tumor is variable. It will be counted in months and not years. In addition, the size of the tumor the bigger it gets the more likelihood of spread to armpit lymph glands. ...Read more

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What is the prognosis for someone who has stage 3 breast cancer with 16/17 positive lymph nodes?

Receptors: This really depends on whether the tumor displays the estrogen, progesterone, and her-2 receptors. You can find this on your pathology report or you can ask your oncologist. The positive nodes is a worse prognosis than if 0 nodes were involved, but the prognosis can still be decent based on the receptor status that I mentioned. ...Read more

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How much time for incurable breast cancer that has spread to the bones, the spine and lymph nodes which have caused edema in the arm?

How much time for incurable breast cancer that has spread to the bones, the spine and lymph nodes which have caused edema in the arm?

Possibly long time: One of the sites of metastatic breast cancer that response to newer chemo drugs is osseous involvement. All depend of course on hormone status of the tumor and whether it is triple negative or responds to herceptin/taxol.
I now believe that what is in the nodes such as axilla stay in axilla and if not removed may cause the swelling of the arm. Age here is also a factor. ...Read more

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For what length of time can a person survive breast cancer if there are no lymph nodes involved?

For what length of time can a person survive breast cancer if there are no lymph nodes involved?

Multiple factors: When we discuss risk for spread after breast cancer surgery, we need to evaluate multiple factors including the size of the tumor, grade, hormone status (estrogen, Progesterone receptors and her-2) and possibly the clinical risk score (oncotype, mammoprint, etc). ...Read more

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My grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer that has spread to 2 lymph nodes. What stage is that?

My grandma was diagnosed with breast cancer that has spread to 2 lymph nodes. What stage is that?

Depends: Lymph nodes are one aspect of evaluation for stage and treatment of breast cancer. It also depends on the size of the breast cancer itself. Your grandmother could have stage 2a, 2b, 3a or 3b. Depends on the size of the breast tumor as to the stage. Ask her oncologist for more accurate information. ...Read more

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What do you think, could having your breasts and lymph nodes removed eliminate your chance of breast cancer?

Not entirely: It's fairly common for women with one of the breast cancer family genes to have a prophylactic mastectomy. It reduces but does not eliminate the cancer risk. Leave the lymph nodes alone, you need them. ...Read more

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Metastatic breast cancer spreading to lymph nodes? Is that usually pretty bad?

Metastatic breast cancer spreading to lymph nodes?  Is that usually pretty bad?

Not necessarily: Lymph nodes are one aspect of evaluation for stage and treatment of breast cancer. It depends on size of breast cancer itself, number of lymph nodes involved, hormone status of the tumor, and dna testing can also help identify breast cancer risks. If the lymph node involvement is small, then there is little additioanl risk to the patient. There are many factors involved in assessing breast cancer. ...Read more

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Is it possible for breast cancer to cause bilateral axillary lymph nodes enlargement?

Is it possible for breast cancer to cause bilateral axillary lymph nodes enlargement?

Axillary adenopathy: It would be very unlikely that breast CA would cause symmetrical and bilateral lymphnode swelling. Sounds much more likely to be an infectious/viral process. ...Read more

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I had a stage 1 mic breast cancer, clear nodes, estpr positive, 5 years ago, would it have been necessary to remove 13 lymph nodes?

I had a stage 1 mic breast cancer, clear nodes, estpr positive, 5 years ago, would it have been necessary to remove 13 lymph nodes?

Times change: It is now standard to do a sentinel node biopsy first and if a pathologist finds it is negative not to go after other nodes. However, it was less clear 5 years ago that this was safe, and so many surgeons at that time did full axillary node dissections when removing a breast cancer. One can't say now that that was "wrong" as it was within the standards of care then. ...Read more

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Are secondary breast cancer in their bones and lymph nodes (in my neck) common?

Are secondary breast cancer in their bones and lymph nodes (in my neck) common?

Can occur: Breast cancers can spread to lymph nodes or through the blood stream to the bones. Needs special testing, maybe pet scan, maybe biopsy to tell. ...Read more

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Need advise on what is the difference between lymph nodes and breast cancer?

Need advise on what is the difference between lymph nodes and breast cancer?

Lymph nodes: Are normal structures in the body involved in lymphatic drainage and body immunity. Breast cancer is a neoplasm which can spread through the body using the lymphatic channels. If it does, the cancer can cause the regional lymph nodes to be involved with cancer and enlarge. ...Read more

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What is the life expectancy of a person with breast cancer if there are no lymph nodes involved?

What is the life expectancy of a person with breast cancer if there are no lymph nodes involved?

Variable: There are many other factors that impact life expectancy in a person with breast cancer besides lymph node invovlement. Things like the size of the tumor, estrogen and Progesterone status and her2-neu status are necessary to help determine prognosis. ...Read more

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Mother diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in breast, multiple lymph nodes, liver and bones. How long does she have?

Mother diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer in breast, multiple lymph nodes, liver and bones. How long does she have?

Depends: First, it is now clear we physicians can't predict the survival of any single individual very precisely. We can say that of a thousand patients with a given condition, half will still be alive at x date. For a breast cancer patient, even one with stage IV disease, the prognosis depends on many things: is the tumor hormone sensitive or not? Is there a her2-neu gene amplification? So it depends. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
1,378 doctors shared insights

Breast Cancer (Definition)

Occurs when glandular cells lining the milk ducts and lobules of the human breast begin to grow in an unregulated manner. Often curable if found early and treated effectively with surgery, hormonal therapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, or a combination thereof. Early detection before the malignancy becomes large enough to be felt depends on mammography/sonography and MRI imaging of the breast ...Read more


Dr. Mark Hoepfner
1,061 doctors shared insights

Breast Carcinoma (Definition)

Most breast cancers are carcinomas. This is a type of breast cancer. These cancers start in the cells that line organs and tissues. In fact, breast cancers are often a type of carcinoma called adenocarcinoma, which starts in cells that make glands (glandular tissue). Breast adenocarcinomas start in the ducts (the milk ducts) or ...Read more