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Tuesday, May 06, 2008 lynnsie, Community Member, asks

Q: had a mammogram where a lymph node could be seen

I am 46 have breast fed 9 children over the past 20 years just for some history. I have had regular mammos. for the past 5 years. The left breast had 2 small lymph nodes but after 2 fna's that were negative and almost having them removed discovered they had been there for 14 years with no change. the radiologist the whole time told me they were nothing and looked normal. Anyway when I had another mammo to check on them I saw a lymph node on the right breast. nothing that can be felt but I saw it and questioned the radiologist it was way high up on the film like out of the film almost. He said it is fine and he sees this all the time and can be from anything. I am still worried 7 months later and wondering should I do something else? Please advice as I am sick of worrying about this and presently live in a foriegn country so am feeling even more insecure.

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Answers (3)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
5/ 6/08 7:03am

Lynnsie, I'm not sure what you're talking about, as I don't think there are lymph nodes in your breast. If you're talking about something that appears on the mammogram, then the way to see if it's an issue to be addressed is to track and notice any changes, any growth. If something has been on your films (or otherwise in evidence) for 14 years, I would assume it's nothing to worry about. Perhaps this new something has also been there all along, but no one noticed it (or it wasn't visible on film) till now? To set your mind at ease, why not go back and have another mammogram, and/or ultrasound? The mammogram would tell you if there's any change, and the ultrasound could clarify just what you're seeing. I hope, wherever you're living, that they have the facilities to administer these tests. And in the meantime - PLEASE don't worry yourself sick. Take some action; get a second opinion. Worry doesn't move you forward; it doesn't accomplish anything other than make you feel awful! So feel it, validate it, then tell youself, "Here's what I'm going to do to help myself," and do it. Goood luck1 - PJH

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KLO, Community Member
10/10/09 9:42pm

PJ don't talk when you don't know something.  you don't think there are lymph nodes in the breast?   It's not a matter of what you think: there are.  watch what you say!

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/13/09 10:03am

You're right, and I've become educated since I posted that response 17 months ago. I hope the good I do here outweighs the sometimes incorrect responses due to lack of knowledge. I'm a survivor, not a doctor; I do the best I can, as do we all. For 100% correct medical advice, please speak to your doctor. For 24/7 help, come here. PJH

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rach, Community Member
9/22/08 11:38am

you are incorrect. there ARE lymph nodes on your breast-we have lymph nodes everywhere. my mother is an RN and a breast cancer survivor and she would know. i have learned lately that if you are sick, lymph nodes can become swollen, thus making it more visual on the mammo.

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Bernice W., Community Member
2/18/09 4:01am

I also have a lymph node that just showed up in my mammogram.  The radiologist scheduled a second mammogram to double check it.  When it still showed up, he immediately did an ultrasound to get a better view of what it was that he was seeing.  He is still "pretty sure" it is just a lymph node and nothing to be concerned with but even so, he wants me to get another mammogram in six months rather than wait the normal year.  If I were in your shoes, I would be getting a second opinion.  You might also ask the radiologist what he course he would take if it was his wife, daughter, mother, etc.

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KLO, Community Member
10/10/09 9:40pm

Me, too, a lymph node on Mammo.    I have had breast cancer twice in the other breast but they were barely concerned about the node, so relax,  but keep up your regular mammography with a GOOD university-type hospital where they know what they are doing.

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Up North, Community Member
3/ 4/10 12:35pm

I, too, had a recent mammogram with identified lymph nodes X 3. It is the opposite breast where I had cancer 3 years ago. Radiologist referred to as BIRAD 3, suggesting 6 month follow up for the area "believed" to be non-cancerous. Of course, these results do cause some anxiety, but I have complete confidence in my Oncologist, who also feels the 6 month follow-up is sufficient. However, I have been on the "net" researching for information to educate myself concerning intramammary lymph nodes and was happy to find this site. Thanks, Ladies.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/ 4/10 1:35pm

Good luck, U.N. - we're glad you found this site, too! Smile PJH

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jzeringue, Community Member
3/29/14 9:38am

I am in the same in that same situation. A year ago on a mammogram i had a lymph node that showed so the doctor ordered a repeat and ultra sound. They confirmed that is was only a lymph node and had me repeat the tests in 6 months which i did and the lymph node was still there. That was 6 months ago and since then i have had blood work done at my job that was just a routine free screening for everyone. It showed everything from cholesterol to thyroid and any other levels that could indicate some type of cardiac disease. All of my levels were good except my thyroid level was high even already being on medication and my hs-CRP which is an inflammatory marker. The NP doing the screening increased my thyroid meds and put me on a mouth cleaning regimen for about 2 months since she is not sure what the cause of the other level could be. After doing that and redrawing those labs, my throid is good but the hs-CRP was actually higher. I mentioned to her about the lymph node in my breast which kind of concerned her but to make matters worse a few days ago i found a lump on my collar bone. I am scheduled to see an internal medicine doctor next week and I'm a little freaked out. Of cours we all surf the web for information which is not always a good thing but i did read there is a breast cancer called IBC (inflammatory breast cancer) which is rare but very aggressive. It is usually unseen on mammogram and is usually diagnosted when it has spread to places that are more noticable like armpit or collar bone. I also have a strong family history of breast cancer so natually i am worried.Cry

 

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/29/14 10:07am

Hi - It sounds like the visible lymph node has been monitored closely by your doctor, and is continuing to be monitored. And you don't describe anything that sounds like a breast cancer symptom - including the lump on your collarbone. IBC symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, itchiness, and/or discoloration/bruising of the breast itself; and since you don't report any of these, it's highly doubtful you'd have IBC (or any other type of breast cancer, for that matter). 

 

I know it's really hard not to worry when you're awaiting tests; and you're probably worrying about the possibility of cardiac issues, as well. But please don't worry about breast cancer; what you describe doesn't fit any of the typical symptoms.

 

Best of luck - I hope you get good news from your tests. PJH

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
3/29/14 1:16pm

As you have read, inflammatory breast cancer often does not show on a mammogram although most of the time the radiologist will be able to detect changes from previous mammograms.  IBC almost always presents with visual symptoms like redness, skin dimpling, and swelling.  There are quite a few symptoms that can be part of the picture when a doctor is trying to diagnose a possible case of IBC including swollen lymph nodes; however, one of the features of IBC is the rapid onset of multiple symptoms.  The lump on your collarbone could be breast-related, but it sounds like your doctor will need to consider quite a few possibilities given your thyroid history and hs-CRP level.  I understand how difficult it is not to worry while waiting to see a doctor, but IBC should probably be near the bottom of your list of possibilities that worry you.  I hope you get answers soon that set your mind at ease.

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By lynnsie, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/29/14, First Published: 05/06/08