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Noticed lymph nodes under armpits. Is this normal?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1973
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I am 38 healthy and have nursed 4 children. Oldest 9, youngest 15 months. I have been done nursing since dec.1. I noticed that I can feel lymph nodes under both of my armpits. The right side I noticed a couple years ago. The left I was feeling and noticed them recently also. They move around a lot. And I had my physical recently my dr didnt notice them . But I can feel them at least 2 or 3 on each side. And 1-1.5 cm each. Is this normal?! I have a thin frame so I have a tendency to notice everyrhing!
did have these checked today, my dr said they felt like normal lymph nodes. Does this sound correct?
Posted Mon, 27 May 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. S. Jegadeesan 2 days later
Hello Madam,
Thanks for your inquiry,
You have noticed lymph node enlargement in your right axilla since 2 yrs. recently you are feeling lymph node enlargement in the left side also. These lymph nodes move around a lot. You say that they are 2 or 3 in number. Your Dr. is not able to appreciate them.
First point they "Move" - so nothing to worry.
What you have to observe is: The area or region they drain - For axillary node -
Arm, thoracic wall, breast for Infections, cat-scratch disease, or any swelling.
Moreover, you have to palpate for other lymph nodes anywhere in the body especially - Supra Clavicular, Sub Mandibular and Inquinal to rule out generalized lymph adenopathy. Even though there are 600 lymph nodes, only those in the sub mandibular, axillary or inguinal regions may normally be palpable in healthy people
Nodes are generally considered to be normal if they are around 1 cm in diameter
When a lymph node rapidly increases in size, its capsule stretches and causes pain. Pain is usually the result of an inflammatory process or suppuration.
Softer nodes are the result of infections or inflammatory conditions. Suppurant nodes may be fluctuant.
Considering the small size and mobility of the node and localized tendency - in the axillary region only, the nodes should be inflammatory, - the source of infection may not be visible.
If you have any source infection - Treat it. Being axillary, basic blood test and
X-ray chest is ideal.
If you have become recently thin - investigate the cause.
If you are still worried, even though not warranted for you, an excisional biopsy can be done. After Histo Pathological Report, correct picture will be seen.
Anyhow nothing to worry. Routinely keep an eye on them.
Best wishes
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