Just needed to know if this is "normal"- and ideally, why.

The last 6-9 months, my (F,35) lymph nodes in my armpits painfully swell up about once a month, take about a week to go back to normal. When it first started happening, I went to an urgent care clinic (I knew lumps in armpits could mean breast cancer, and wanted to get checked out), and they said it was normal- they said it was my lymph nodes, and not cancer. I haven't been back since, so my questions are:

1- is this, really, normal? This was a walk-in clinic after all, I feel like I should take it with a grain of salt.

2- why would it start now?

3- what could be causing this? Because when they said it was normal, I had figured it would go away after a bit, and it keeps happening every month.

I'm not having any other adverse reactions out of normal, if I was I'd just try a doctor again. Just trying to figure out if this should be concerning me. Thanks in advance for any help. If more info is necessary, I'll try to supply what I can.

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PeaceUnderTrees
8 Answers
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I agree with DocJ. These are not only painful, they go away within a week or two. It's very unlikely for this to be cancerous :)

If one pops up that is painless and lasts weeks and is firm and stuck in place, that's an important change to see a doctor about.

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99% of the time painful lymph nodes rule out cancer. Swelling of lymph nodes that coincide with a menstrual cycle is typically normal for women in this age group.

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Lymph node enlargement with changes in hormones is normal. Its very common among women in their late twenties and mid to early thirty. You can discuss this with your OBGYN and see what options you have for treatment. Sometimes taking birth control pills can help. Just out of curiosity when you feel this lymph node is it deep in your armpit, or is it more on the outside close to your breast?

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This can be normal. This is happening every month, does it coincide with your medstrual cycle? Painful lymph nodes are nothing to worry about. This can happen with you have changes in hormones, when your body is trying to fight infections, etc. Lymph node enlargement should only be concerning if there is no pain. Painful lymphnodes are actually a good sign. Non-painful nodes are the ones you need to worry about. I wouldn't worry too much.

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Usually deep in the armpit, right where the bend is. It's quite painful when it happens because of it.

Thanks for your time responding, I really appreciate it! It's good to know I don't have to worry too much about it, though I will address it with my OB/GYN next time I go for a checkup.

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It does seem to coincide with ovulation, so that's a good sign. So why would it start now, and not for the 20-odd years I've had my cycles?

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Thanks for the input, I will also keep this in mind.

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