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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 mel, Community Member, asks

Q: pea sized lump..should i be worried?

I discovered a small lump to the side of my right breast where it meets my arm pit back in December 2007. I had an appointment last week to have it checked and the speciallist noticed a small swelling in the gland in my armpit also. She said she wasn't very concerned, as both are very small, but I have to go back in September to see if it's gotten any bigger. She said they would be more concerned if it was the size of a grape. She told me not to worry about it, but as you can imagine, I am worried. In the last couple of months I've noticed my breast is more tender to touch and I've suffered some minor aches/pain in my arm and neck. What should I do?

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Answers (5)
Laurie Kingston, Health Guide
6/11/08 12:00pm

Hi mel,

It is a good sign that your doctor was not too concerned. However, I can tell that you are very worried. Why not get a second opinion, if only to allay your fears? You know your body better than anyone. I have always felt that I am my own most important advocate. It won't do any harm to have someone else take a look (or for your own doctor to order some more tests).

Good luck and take care,


Here are some articles you might find interesting:

Tips for Healthy Breasts

10 Breast Cancer Myths Debunked

Can Olive Oil Help Prevent Breast Cancer?


Angi, Community Member
6/11/08 3:11pm

It's possible that your dr isn't too concerned because he thinks it's a lymph node (common areas for nodes are in the neck, pits, chest, abdomen, etc - and they do often swell caused by possible infection....for examaple having strep throat might cause nodes in your neck to swell)  Nodes can be the size of a pin-head and get larger, and can often be felt when swollen.  Also, some people just have larger nodes than others.  But if the lump isn't shrinking or if it's constantly there I would be concerned, because it could possibly be something else. 

I agree with Laurie (?) and suggest getting a 2nd opinion, or at the very least express your concerns to your current dr.  There should be no reason for you to worry and put yourself through this.  Often times we are the ones who need to take the lead when it comes to our care, because after all it is your body and no one knows it better than you.  Don't be afraid to be proactive or stand up for yourself.  You have every right!


Good luck,


Shesha Jae, Community Member
6/22/08 7:43pm

I have the same thing. I have had a pea-sized lump in my left armpit area, near where the armpit meets the breast. I have had it about 2 weeks (maybe longer, but that's when I noticed it). I've been losing sleep and worrying about it. it doesn;t hurt, but I am going to my doctors this week to get it checked out. I'm 24 yrs old, but I heard women my age can get it, especiall yif on birth control pills (which I am). I am scared! Frown Also, I heard you should request a blood test and check your white blood cell count. The lump could be a swollen lymph node and can  gesture towards an infection or more dangerously, leukemia or lymphoma (blood cancers).

ems, Community Member
7/ 7/08 9:34pm

Hi there, I also have been going through the  same thing. I have an apt. for a mamo on the 23. My doctor seems to think that its a cyst but to be on the safe side, I'm going to get checked. I am on hormone replacement and it also may be the case for the pain. the pain comes and goes, almost like a little throb that gets on youre nerves. Mine is also a pea size lump and it moves around.

OkcMichelle, Community Member
6/15/09 8:36pm

Innocent Just hang in there, it can be many things don't get worked up when it can be nothing. If you drink  alot of soda it could be from that. I found a lump in my right arm pit last night about the same size and same place where you foun yours. My lump is just in the other arm pit. About 3 years ago I found a lump the size of a dime in my left breast. I was not even concerned because I was 20 years old. Then about 6 months later it got bigger and bigger. I finally started to become aware that this might be breast cancer. I was so scard. My lump got the size of a gooses egg. I was lucky that it wasn't breast cancer. My doctor said if I didn't take care of it now it could possibly turn into breast cancer. I am worried that I have a lump, but I will just think positive and live like I don't have a lump.... Thank you

PJ Hamel, Health Guide
6/15/09 9:38pm

Please don't make believe you don't have a lump, if that's what you meant. You need to have this looked at. I'm glad it was no problem last time, but ignoring ANY lump is not a good idea... If it lasts longer than one menstrual cycle, I strongly advise you to see a doctor, to find out what it is. It's unpleasant (and possibly expensive), I know, but ignoring this just isn't a sensible option. At all. PJH

Ak Nurse, Community Member
1/ 9/12 1:30pm

As an oncolocy nurse I must tell you that it is extremely short sighted and dangerous to ignore any lumps no matter what your age, even if they arent cancer and you have no familial history of cancer. All the positive thinking alone will not replace proper medical as well as holistic interventions. Positive thinking is certainly beneficial and known to provide people with the confidence and drive to be successful in their battle with cancer or many other diseases. There are a multitude of non-cancerous reasons for lumps/cysts in your armpits but early interventions certainly improve your prognosis if it is cancer. Please dont run around advocating that people ignore what could potentially be a life ending or altering problem. Remember your children will learn self care habits.

PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/ 9/12 5:05pm

Thanks for reinforcing our stance here - lumps simply can't be ignored, and only a medical professional can determine if they're serious. PJH

skeeta, Community Member
3/29/12 8:31pm

Ak Nurse, Thank you that's excellent advice I'm with you, I've just found a pin head lump in my breast, along with seperation of the lower part of my breast tissue. I have a oppointment with my dr today. I've also had a breast reduction some ten years ago.


Many Thanks, Cheers Skeeta.

PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/29/12 10:09pm

Good luck with your appointment today, Skeeta - I hope everything is well... PJH

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By mel, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/09/14, First Published: 06/11/08