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Wednesday, September 02, 2009 MICKIE, Community Member, asks

Q: Tenderness armpit lymph nodes/side & top of breast

I HAVE HAD EXTREME DISCOMFORT (LIKE MUSCLE STRAIN) IN MY UPPER ARMPIT LYMPH NODES, IN THE SIDE OF MY BREAST & OVER THE TOP OF THE SAME BREAST. IT IS TOO TENDER TO PUSH OR PUT A LOT OF PRESSURE ON IT, BUT I THINK I FEEL A LITTLE LUMPINESS, MAINLY IN THE UPPER RIB AREA. I'M 70 YRS. OLD, FAIRLY ACTIVE & NOT LARGE BREASTED. I HAD THE LUMPINESS MANY YEARS AGO, BUT MY SURGEON DETERMINED IT TO BE FATTY TISSUE.  IT WAS NOT THIS UNCOMFORTABLE THEN, AND THE TENDERNESS DID NOT LAST FOR SEVERAL WEEKS AS NOW. THE MAMO SHOWED NOTHING, ALTHOUGH THERE WAS A LUMP. SINCE IT'S PRIMARILY ON THE OUTER SIDE OF MY BREAST, I QUESTION A MAMO I'M GETTING TOMORROW WILL SHOW ANYTHING AGAIN. IF NOT, & IT PERSISTS, SHOULD I ASK FOR ANOTHER TYPE OF RADIOLOGY TEST? I LOST 3 MATERNAL BLOOD COUSIN & 1 MATERNAL AUNT TO BREAST CANCER. 

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Answers (1)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
9/ 2/09 6:07am

Hi Mickie - This kind of tenderness doesn't sound like a breast cancr symptom; and only a mother or sister or daughter with breast cancer raises your risk. But it certainly sounds uncomfortable! If the mammogram doesn't show anything, perhaps you should consult a neurologist, as it might be a shingles-type issue (you have't seen a rash, have you?) Shingles appears on one side of your trunk, and can be extremely painful, making your skin so you can barely touch it. Also, be sure they rule out a cyst, via an ultrasound. I hope you get some relief soon - PJH

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By MICKIE, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/05/11, First Published: 09/02/09