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What should I do about the lump in my armpit?
Aug 12, 2001

I have had a lump on my breast for 5 yrs. My first and only mammogram so far said not cancerous, but my lump has gotten bigger. Just recently I developed a hard lump under my arm that was more full the first 2 days and is still there for about 10 days. I stoped all HIV and other meds Christmas of 2000. I have 700 CD4 cells and 800 Viral load. I showed my doctor the lump under my arm about 3 days after it appeared he said "Let's give it some time. It could just be your lymph nodes just doing there job, which is a good thing" Do you think that was the right advise to give ?

Response from Dr. Dezube

If I understand your query correctly, you have two separate lumps-- one on your breast, one in your armpit.

In terms of the lump on your breast, even if your mammogram is negative, you should have a persistent lump biopsied. Only through a biopsy, you will know what it is.

In terms of the arm pit lymph node, perhaps your doctor is right. Patients with HIV develop lymph nodes quite frequently. This is a sign of the body trying to fight off the HIV infection. Occasionally lymph nodes can harbor infections or cancer. Thus, it is important to biopsy lymph nodes if they are unusually large (when compared to all the other lymph nodes); if they are associated with symptoms such as fever, chills, and night sweats; or if they are found in the setting of other unusual lumps. Since your arm pit node seems to appear in the setting of your breast lump, I would favor a biopsy of the breast lump and possibly the arm pit lump to figure out what's going on. Please write back and let me know what the outcome of your situation is. BD.

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