If you feel a lump in your breast, you know enough to take it seriously. But did you know that a lump in your armpit should be taken just as seriously? Read the following FAQS for informatiton about the types and causes of armpit lumps, and guidance on whether/when to see a doctor if you feel one.
Q. I recently noticed a small lump under my left arm, in my armpit. Could this be a sign of breast cancer? A. It could indeed be a sign of breast cancer, for two reasons. First, breast tissue sometimes extends up into the armpit region. A lump felt in your underarm could in reality be a lump in your breast; you just never realized your breast extended that far. Second, the lymph nodes in your armpit filter out any abnormalities (infections, reactions to drugs, cancer) in the same-side chest wall, arm, or breast. So a lump under your arm may indicate that your lymph nodes have identified, and are trying to fight, cancer cells that have reached them from your breast. Q. Well, now I’m...
Self-examination of the breast; BSE
Many women feel that doing a breast self exam is an important part of their health care. It helps them learn how their breasts normally feel, so that if they find a lump they will know whether it is something to discuss with their health care provider.
However, there is not agreement among experts about recommending breast self exams. It is not known for sure what role breast self exams play in finding breast cancer or saving lives.
Talk to your health care provider about whether you should do breast self exams.
If you do decide to perform breast self exams, be sure to do the exam about 3 - 5 days after your period starts, when your breasts are not as tender or lumpy. If you have gone through menopause , do your exam on the same day every month.
First, lie on your back.
Place your right hand behind your head. With the middle fingers of your left hand, gently ...
Armpit discomfort, including pain, swelling, and a feeling of fullness or numbness, can happen after the following surgeries to treat breast cancer:
lymph node removal
Some of the nerves in your armpit may be cut during surgery, which can cause numbness. If your surgeon had to move around some of the tissue under the surface of your skin, the area may feel tender and swollen.
Your armpit skin is close to your breast, so during radiation your armpit may get irritated and sore while you're being treated. In addition to the radiation, your arm rubbing back and forth on the skin, along with the sweat and hair that's there can make the area more irritated than your breast.
Managing armpit discomfort
Use cornstarch instead of deodorant or antiperspirant to reduce friction of your arm rubbing on the skin. For easy application, put some cornstarch into a thin sock or knee-high and tie a knot at the top. Tap the sock gently against your skin.
Avoid strong soaps, antip...
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