Posted by: Ragdoll | 2012/10/26

Reactive Lympnode.

Hallo Doc

I hope you are well.

Please help ...

A year or so ago I complained of severe pain in my right armpit. The pain was constant and very irritatingting debilitating me to such an extent that lifting my arm became problematic.

After seeing my local GP, I had a mammogram and ultrasound done. The mammogram came back normal but the ultrasound showed a " small"  reactive node. My GP was satisfied that the reactive node will settle in time and that there was nothing to worry about.

This node has now increased in size to such an extent that it is visible to the naked eye compared to my left armpit. It went from painful every now and then to painful all the time. It is tender to the touch but still soft in texture - very lumpy though.

I know the best would be to have it checked out again - maybe another ultrasound? If this problem persists, then I guess I will have to have it biopsied. I am 44 years old and have never had any children.

I am however concerned to have it biopsied. There are some horror stories of swollen arms and hands after such biopsies.

Also - the thought of cancer has not really come up as the norm is that " cancer is not painful" ?

Your insight into this will be much appreciated.


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberDoc


A reactive lymph node is usually due to inflammation after infection or part of active infection. You can ask your GP for an ultrasound of the lymph node to investigate if there is active infection with a collection of fluid. A fine needle biopsy would be the best investigation. A fine needle is inserted into the lymph node and cells are drawn up for a histological diagnosis. In the case where the lymph node is surgically removed, there can be severe swelling of the arm.


Dr Anrich

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