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Pregnant. Felt movable lumps under breast. Diagnosed with swollen lymph node. Any treatment?

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Oncologist, Radiation
Practicing since : 2007
Answered : 526 Questions
I recently felt a couple of small moveable lumps under my arm near my breast. Doctor said they were swollen lymph nodes reacting to a boil I had on my skin nearby. The boil disappeared but the lymph nodes did not so I got an ultrasound of my breast which was normal but did show one or two minimally swollen nodes which appear normal. How long should I give these nodes to disappear before I go back to doctors and ask for more tests. I am pregnant and very very worried. I should also say that I now have an upper respiratory virus and shingles so am pretty ill at the moment, could this keep the nodes enlarged
Posted Mon, 25 Feb 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Dipanjan Majumder 22 minutes later
Thank you for posting your query at XXXXXXX You are complaining of lymph node swelling under your arm near the breast. That region is axilla, so your complain is axillary lymphadenopathy. Now, the most common cause of lymph node enlargement is infections. boil may be the cause or any secondary infection to the shingle may be a cause. You should allow any swollen lymph node to be treated with antibiotics for at least 2 weeks and can assess the response. If not regressed in size or consistency then a FNAC or biopsy to be done (biopsy preferred). As your ultrasound breast is normal so nothing to worry about at present.
- Please note if any swelling appears in other part of the body
- Any fever or extreme weakness
- Any night sweat
Wish you a good health. I will be available to answer further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Pregnant. Felt movable lumps under breast. Diagnosed with swollen lymph node. Any treatment? 4 hours later

Thanks for your reply

My doctor will not prescribe antibiotics as I am 7 weeks pregnant and he does not feel that there is an issue unless the nodes get bigger.

The doctor who carried out the ultrasound said the nodes were too small to biopsy and again said they were ok but worth watching incase they got any bigger

Although the boil has now healed on the surface of the skin there is still a hard lump under the skin where the boil was - could this be an ongoing infection/inflammation under the skin? The nodes I can feel are all next to where the boil was & I could not feel these nodes before the boil came.

I am saying the nodes are enlarged just because I can feel them but the actual size of them is very small, I would say they are around 1cm or less

Is it safe to watch them for a while

I have an appointment at the breast clinic in 2 months time for an unrelated condition so was planning to get them to check also
Answered by Dr. Dipanjan Majumder 48 minutes later
Thanks for update. Your doctor has given you the justified decision. Boil has healed completely as there is no sign of inflammation like increased temperature, tenderness or erythema, you should not take antibiotics.

Size of nodes if less than 1 cm, nothing to be worried about. This can be simply due to the previous infection.

The boil at present does not show any sign of infection or inflammation.
The fact that you could not notice the lymph node before, again strongly suggest its association with boil.

In my opinion, it is safe to watch them for a while. You should palpate this node at regular interval, if any change in character found, please consult your doctor.

Keep me posted for further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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