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lots of enlarged lymph nodes in breast and armpit

By Anonymous August 20, 2014 - 7:15pm
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After a shower and drying off around the breast area I can see all these nodules under my skin starting around the top outer area of the breast into the armpit. I have had many tests done in the past only to be told that I have fibrocystic breast syndrome. I have gone for years without having cysts and now all of a sudden they are back with what I think are swollen lymph nodes. I am a small frame and my breasts are very small so any change is easily noticed. What can be causing this sudden change? This is the second time this month that I have noticed this. Thank you

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Im 15 and for about 3 years now iv been getting really swollen lymph nodes in my breast. They get really hard and hurt so much. Evry time i go get it checked they say they cant do anything for it. Iv on had a swollen lymph node under my arm once. My mom told me my aunt has had the same problms i have when she was younger but mine are much worse. They tend to hurt so bad that i cant go to school the next day from lack of sleep. This really freaks me out bc they only come up a couple weeks before my period and then go away but my breast still hurt. I know my family has had people who had cancer but im not sure if any of it was breast cancer. Im kinda freaking out. Its gone on for about 3-4 years.

February 9, 2015 - 10:40am
Guide (reply to Batmansbbygirl)

Hello Batmansbbgirl,

Welcome to EmpowHER. I can appreciate your concern because of your family history of cancer.

I am thinking that the onset of the swelling is linked to the hormonal changes that are happening during the premenstrual period because the swelling disappears once you have had your period.

You may want to try these three lifestyle tips:
eat a lower fat diet
avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, and chocolate)
avoid salt 1 to 2 weeks before your period starts

Have you consulted a gynecologist about this?


February 9, 2015 - 10:56am

Hello Anonymous,

Thank you for seeking our advice regarding your concern. Any pronounced nodules or lumps in the breast should be checked out.

Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system which is part of the immune system. It collects fluid, waste material, and other things like viruses and bacteria, that are in the body tissues, outside the bloodstream.

The armpits have many lymph nodes. There is also a chain of lymph nodes that runs up the center of your chest, by your breast bone. This is called the internal mammary chain.

In the presence of an infection, injury, or cancer, the node or the group of lymph nodes in that area may swell or enlarge as they work to filter out the “bad” cells. This may be called lymphadenopathy.

Swollen lymph nodes tell you that something is wrong, but other symptoms help pinpoint the problem.

Anonymous, please schedule an appointment with your physician to have a breast exam.


August 21, 2014 - 8:28am
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