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Sore and painful lymph glands on arm pits

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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hi my husband has lympho glads on arm pit thats sore and very painfull
Posted Mon, 1 Oct 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later

Lymph nodes are an important part of the immune system, they contain different substances that respond to infection and also filter and trap foreign material.

Lymph nodes can become enlarged under a variety of conditions such as viral or bacterial infection, inflammation, cancer,lipid storage disease, sarcoidosis.The lymph nodes themselves can also become infected, this is called lymphadenitis.

In general lymph nodes will respond to infections or problems in specific areas.
Axillary lymph nodes drain the arm, the chest wall and the breast.
Specific causes of axillary lymph node enlargement include bacterial infections (such as cat scratch disease, lymphadenitis,lymphangitis- infection of the lymph channels), viral infections such as herpes zoster, cancer.

If a lymph node is infected it is usually firm,tender, enlarged, warm and the overlying skin may be red.
Lymph nodes due to cancer tend to be firm,not tender, stuck together and fixed in position. In a medical study only 1% of people who had enlarged lymph nodes actually had cancer.

Your husband should consider visiting his GP who will check the size of the nodes (if less than 1 cm unlikely to be linked to cancer or any serious illness), check for tenderness, consistency (if firm or hard), mobility and if stuck together.
Investigations may involve an ultrasound to assess the node/nodes.
Treatment would depend on the cause of the enlargement.

I hope this information is helpful, feel free to ask any other questions
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