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Armpit lump and soreness

Earlier this week my 21 year old daughter discovered an extremely painful lump on are right armpit. She discovered it during a shower and again it was extremely tender to yhe touch. Keep in mind, we were overseas when this is happening. Called a doctor friend who thought it could be an aggravated hair follicle or such. Next morning, the lump is MUCH better, less tender but then the other armpit starts bothering her. At closer inspection, the new problem armpit didn’t have any lumps buy 2 very light spots thay again hurt to touch. Both arms hurt to even lift and do anything. Decided to take her to a local urgent care in the local village that prescribed an antibiotic/steroid cream and didn’t think much of it. He also thought something shaving related. Meanwhile the whole vacation, I am now worried to death. We are back in the states now thankfully. Took her to an urgent care this morning. Checked the original armpit that originally had the huge lump and it completely resolved. He felt the other armpit and said that he feels a couple of slightly swollen nodes but he also told us that the nodes are still within normal limits. She is still having slight tenderness in both armpits but only when pressed. The doctor said it should take about 2 weeks to resolve but I am still so worried about lymphoma. I asked him could shaving have caused both armpitsmto flare up and why and he really didn’t give me an answer. It was more like “she’s fine, just make sure no other lumps pop up”. I guess I wanted to hear you habe NOTHING to worry about but didn’t get that confirmation. Anyone here have this happened? Any words if advise/support!
Best Answer
1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
I'm glad to be of help, Susie.

"are you saying that the reaction she had could have been driven or made worse by anxiety?"
You can think of it like a vicious cycle. The origin is probably genetic. One result can be anxiety. Anxiety can in turn stir up the immune system.

Consider this: histamine is an immune system chemical. The famous antihistamine is Benadryl/diphenhydramine. That's the same drug that's in the sleep aid Sominex. It also inspired the development of Prozac. People with high histamine can tend to be anxious.

"Sorry for all the questions..."
Not at all, those were the good questions. If you resolve to fling yourself into helping her, then you can be her best asset.
1 Comments
Hey Ken,
So.....the lump returned and seems to have gone away again. Two nights ago, before heading into the shower, she noticed her armpit was once again tender. Once again we found a dime size, very very light pink and very tender soft lump. Once again, took her to urgent care. Doctor felt it and said "I think it's a lymph node that ever so lightly enlarged (pea sized) and it's probably nothing. It's now 2 days later, she has been putting the antibiotic/steroid cream that was given to her while we visited the doctor overseas, and it's much much better. The armpit is no longer pink, bump is resolving and arm not so tender anymore. She has an appointment in 3 weeks with both her PCP and a dermatologist. My hypochondriac mind is still worried about lymphoma, but my rational mind is telling me lymphoma would not show symptoms of coming and going, correct??
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1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
"...my rational mind is telling me lymphoma would not show symptoms of coming and going, correct??"
Yes, very very correct :)

"...she has been putting the antibiotic/steroid cream that was given to her while we visited the doctor overseas, and it's much much better."
That is a point of interest. Write down on your phone or somewhere the exact name of that med, and tell each of the upcoming 2 docs about how well it worked. Always have some of that creme on hand, too. This is unfortunately likely to keep repeating until the underlying cause (hyper immune reaction) is corrected.

We don't know at this point if it was the antibiotic or the anti-inflammatory that did the trick. I'd guess the latter.
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1 Comments
"lymphoma would not show symptoms of coming and going"
Tell you what, Suzie: if you phrase it like this to a doctor: "lymphoma wouldn't BEHAVE like that"

they will marvel a tiny bit that you know to phrase it like that.   :)

1081992 tn?1389903637
COMMUNITY LEADER
No, it's not lymphoma. Cancer doesn't "behave" like that, popping up overnight then simply going away. Chances of lymphoma are just about zero.

But I wouldn't just forget about it. Her immune system reaction was unusually strong. So she'll probably have unusual and mysterious reactions from time to time throughout life. It probably has also been in her past. When it does happen again in any way, think "her immune system is doing something not-average". You'd also look for the same in closely related family members, possibly including yourself. And btw, from what I've seen, hyper reactive immune systems are also associated with anxiety as well.

Docs at ERs and walk-ins won't think along those lines, and they can't be expected to since that's not their field. They are anyway mostly concerned about "is this dangerous", not about the "why". However, there are "functional medicine doctors" who do try to figure out the why of things.
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1 Comments
Hi Ken. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for calming my nerves and for the helpful information. You have answered other questions/concerns for me in the past and all your responses have truly been helpful and are greatly appreciated.  I have a quick and probably stupid question, but when you said "And btw, from what I've seen, hyper reactive immune systems are also associated with anxiety as well" are you saying that the reaction she had could have been driven or made worse by anxiety? Both my daughter and I suffer from some at times debilitating anxiety so how is it all related?? And what can cause hyper reactive immune systems?? Sorry for all the questions and thank you again.
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