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Have movable lump under armpit. What could it be?

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Pathologist and Microbiologist
Practicing since : 2006
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Have a lump under armpit (oval feeling) that is not painful, is movable, and is mildly firm (meaning I can move it, but I cannot reshape it). I have been trying to cut out nicotine for a bit and have on/off spells (meaning barely any, then rebound). Wondering if that could play a factor. Slight pain just under jaw, as well. No insurance.
Posted Tue, 18 Dec 2012 in Lymphoma
Answered by Dr. Shailja Puri 3 hours later

Thanks for the query.

I have gone through the details submitted and the picture attached.

Though the position of the lump is not clearly visible, based on your description, it is most likely to be an enlarged lymph node.

Armpit contains plenty of lymph nodes and they get involved in any inflammatory condition. If you had recently suffered from an infection, that could explain the enlargement. However other serious causes will need to be considered if there are associated symptoms such as presence of similar lumps in the neck and other areas, loss of appetite, weight loss, etc.

Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) needs to be done if there is any suspicion especially when other associated symptoms are found.

Nicotine in various forms can sometime be associated with such lymph nodes; however without a direct examination and test, I cannot confirm its relations in this case.

In simple terms, if the lump is reducing in size and no other lumps are found, it appears to be less concerning. You will need to consult a doctor who can order FNAC if recurring/persisting symptoms occur.

Hope it helps. In case you have more queries, I will be glad to assist you.

Dr.Shailja P Wahal
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