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Monday, December 27, 2010 janbry101, Community Member, asks

Q: lump on left armpit near breast!

I have had a lump on my left armpit but near my left breast since october and it's recently gotten worse, i went to my doctor about a week ago and he said it was either an infected hair, or a swollen glad. I took the medication that was given to me and still nothing worked it actually made it worse i think. now the lump has made me very itchy, i'm getting dry scabs on my arms,wrists, and near the area with the lump. my breast has been very tender almost like if i was pregnant again and it burns and itches most of the time, not sure how it fits into any of this but it's an annoying factor that keeps bugging me. breast cancer does not run in my family. i've been told many things from friends and family, i have a little girl to watch grow up and i'm just so paranoid now a days, the pain gets worse, my arm itches so bad that i've scratched so much theres marks. i've also heard about the eye changing color under the bottom lids but there the same. please someone help me.

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Answers (2)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
12/27/10 6:30am

Hi - It's unlikely this itchiness in your arm would be a breast cancer symptom, but since you're experiencing discomfort in the breast itself, and have discovered a lump under your arm that antibiotics don't seem to help, you need to find out what's causing this. Tell your doctor you're very uncomfortable, and emotionally stressed from dealng with this, and you would like to have the lump diagnosed. If s/he feels unable to do that, ask for a referral to a breast specialist. Be assertive; the doctor may try to put you off, so you'll have to advocate for yourself. But any breast change that lasts longer than a month needs to be taken seriously - even though, as I said, cancer is highly unlikely. Good luck - PJH

BeauBeau, Community Member
12/27/10 11:14am

Pain and itching are not typically symptoms of breast cancer. That said, I agree with the other reply that you need to be proactive and find out what in fact is causing your symptoms. I have a young woman who works for me (Michelle) who had a lump under her arm (not armpit, but rib wall under her arm) about 1 month ago. As soon as she discovered it, she scheduled an aptmt with her doc, who then told her he was comfortable that it was either a cyst or a swollen lymph node. Michelle replied that she was glad to hear he was comfortable but as for her, only certainty would comfort her. When asked what it would take for him to be certain, the doc said he'd need to remove the lump and send it off for analysis, which is exactly what she had him do. It was ultimately a lymph node, so no worries. But I think her approach to her health was the right one. Take charge and don't back down until they do what is necessary to diagnose the source of your symptoms. Good luck.

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By janbry101, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 12/27/10