Lymph nodes swelling in armpit: The request could not be satisfied
Swollen Lymph Nodes (Lymphadenopathy)
Swollen lymph nodes can occur in your armpits as well as in your neck and groin.
What are swollen lymph nodes?
When you’re not feeling so great, like you’re coming down with something, you may notice some swelling on the sides of your neck. Those lumps probably feel soft and tender to the touch — and may even hurt a little.
Swollen lymph nodes (or what doctors call lymphadenopathy) are common and are actually a good thing. The swelling in these pea- or bean-sized lymph nodes are one of your body’s natural reactions to illness or infection. That tells doctors that your body’s healthy and robust immune system is working to clear away infection and/or invading viruses or bacteria.
Many people call them swollen glands ― even though they’re really not glands, but part of your lymphatic system. One of your body’s lesser known systems, it’s in charge of balancing your fluid levels.
Your swollen glands act like filters that help your body get rid of germs, cells or other foreign matter that passes through your lymph fluid (a clear or slightly yellowish fluid made up of white blood cells, proteins and fats).
And when you think of swollen glands, you most likely think of swelling in your neck. But the lymph nodes in your groin, under your chin and your armpits can swell too. You can even move them slightly with your fingers.
You also have lymph nodes throughout your body that you can’t feel. There’s a network of about 600 of them (the exact count actually varies by person) in your:
Symptoms and Causes
What causes swollen lymph nodes?
The most common cause of lymph node swelling in your neck is an upper respiratory infection, which can take 10 to 14 days to resolve completely. As soon as you start feeling better, the swelling should go down as well, though it may take a few weeks longer to go away completely.
Other bacteria and viruses that may cause your lymph nodes to become swollen include:
Your lymph nodes get larger when more blood cells come to fight off an invading infection. They all essentially pile in, causing pressure and swelling.
Often, the lymph nodes that swell will be close to the infection’s site. (That means a person with strep throat might develop swollen lymph nodes in their neck.)
Diagnosis and Tests
How are swollen lymph nodes diagnosed?
Swollen lymph nodes aren’t a disease, they’re a symptom. Usually, diagnosing them means pinpointing what’s causing the swelling.
Besides a regular physical exam and medical history, your doctor will evaluate your swollen lymph nodes for:
- Pain or tenderness when touched.
- Consistency (hard or rubbery).
- Matting (whether they feel joined or move together).
- Location (specific diseases can be tied to where the swollen lymph nodes are in your body).
Your doctor will make sure your swollen lymph nodes aren’t caused by any of your medications. Some drugs, like the anti-seizure medication phenytoin (Dilantin®) can cause swollen lymph nodes.
Doctors only worry about swollen lymph nodes when they enlarge for no apparent reason. So if you have a large, swollen area but you’re not feeling sick and you didn’t recently have a cold, flu, upper respiratory infection or skin infection, you’ll need further tests, like blood work, imaging scans or a biopsy.
In rare situations, swollen lymph nodes can even point to cancer ― specifically, lymphoma (cancer of the lymphatic system). Other less common causes of swollen lymph nodes include injury, AIDS and cancer that’s spread from the lymph nodes to another part of your body.
Management and Treatment
How are swollen lymph nodes treated?
If swollen lymph nodes are only found in one area of your body it’s called localized swollen lymph nodes. And most of the time, you have a virus ― so there’s no treatment truly needed and it will just run its course. The nodes will gradually shrink back to their normal size.
For some infections (like pink eye or tinea), your doctor may prescribe an antiviral or antibiotic to clear it up.
When swollen lymph nodes are found in two or more areas (generalized swollen lymph nodes), it usually points to a more serious systemic (meaning it’s all over your body) disease. These are wide-ranging and include:
These conditions will require more aggressive treatments over a longer period of time. Your swollen lymph nodes may not return to their normal size until after your treatment has ended.
How to ease pain from swollen lymph nodes
You may feel a bit sore and tender. Try using a warm compress (like a microwavable rice sock or similar heating pad) and over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and acetaminophen (Tylenol®). These treatments won’t shrink the nodes, but they’ll help ease your pain temporarily until your body fights off the infection or illness successfully.
Are swollen lymph nodes contagious?
No, swollen lymph nodes themselves aren’t contagious. You can’t just catch them. But if they were caused by a contagious virus (like cold and flu), you can spread those to your family and others around you.
Can you prevent swollen lymph nodes?
You wouldn’t want to prevent swollen lymph nodes. They’re a sign that your body is fighting an infection or illness. If you hate the discomfort of having swollen lymph nodes, your best bet is to take extra steps to keep from catching common viruses through:
- Proper handwashing.
- Avoiding touching your eyes and nose.
- Staying away from those who are sick.
- Disinfecting surfaces in your home or workspace.
- Getting enough sleep, eating healthy and exercising.
Outlook / Prognosis
When should I worry about swollen lymph nodes?
Most swollen lymph nodes aren’t a cause for concern and will go away as your infection clears up.
See your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms that might indicate that something more serious is going on:
- Lymph nodes that are 1+ inch in diameter.
- Nodes that are very painful, hard, fixed to the skin or growing rapidly.
- Nodes that are draining pus or other substances.
- Symptoms like weight loss, night sweats, long-lasting fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing.
- Swollen nodes close to your collarbone or lower part of your neck (this often points to cancer).
- Red or inflamed skin over your swollen lymph nodes.
Are swollen lymph nodes ever fatal?
No, swollen lymph nodes aren’t fatal. Alone, they’re simply a sign that your immune system is fighting an infection or illness. However, in rare cases, swollen lymph nodes can point to serious conditions, such as cancer of the lymphatic system (lymphoma), which could potentially be fatal.
Swollen lymph nodes
Lymph nodes are present throughout the body. There are nearly 600 to 700 of these bean shaped glands that lie like bulbs at certain junctions of the lymphatic channels.
These are an important part of the immune system. These act as filters to remove the germs, infections, toxins etc. that the lymph brings from the tissues of the body.
Why do lymph nodes swell?
Because lymph nodes play an important part in fighting infections, in case of an infection they may swell. This may mean swelling of one or more lymph nodes.
In children a node is considered enlarged if it is more than 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) in diameter.
Where are the lymph nodes situated?
Lymph nodes lie in clusters at the –
- Sides of the neck, back of the scalp and behind the ears
- Under the lower jaw and the chin
Common conditions that lead to swollen lymph nodes
There are some common conditions that lead to swollen lymph nodes, these include infections, cancer and other diseases. (1-4)
Infections, such as boils, abscesses or skin infections can cause swelling in the linked lymph node.
For example, if there is a major infection of the hand, there may be swollen glands at the armpit.
Infections are the commonest cause of swollen lymph nodes.
This type of lymph node swelling is usually painful. The nodes appear warm, red and are tender to touch.
There may be accompanying symptoms like fever with body aches, chills etc.
Some common causes include ear infections, gum or tooth abscess or infections, tonsillitis, skin infections, cellulitis etc.
The condition with swollen lymph nodes is termed lymphadenopathy. If there is accompanying inflammation of the nodes the condition is termed lymphadenitis.
Lymph nodes may be swollen if a cancer or tumor from the end of the lymphatic channels has spread to the glands.
For example, if a breast tumor or cancer has spread to the lymph nodes that drain lymphatic channels from the breast, there may be swollen lymph nodes at the arm pit.
This type of lymph node swelling is usually painless.
Some blood cancers and those affecting lymph channels like Hodgkin’s or Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma also lead to lymph node swelling.
Other diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis and HIV AIDS infection may also lead to lymph node swelling.
How long does the swelling last?
In case of infections the swollen lymph nodes usually disappears in a couple of days without treatment.
Antibiotics and over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol (Acetaminophen) or ibuprofen may be taken to relieve the pain and inflammation.
If the glands are swollen due to viral infections like rubella (German measles), glandular fever or mononucleosis usually they may affect the glands of the whole body.
Treatment usually involves addressing the symptoms, plenty of rest and clear fluids.
However, it may be time to call the health care provider if the lymph nodes do not get smaller after several weeks or enlarge progressively.
It is also a sign of cancer if the lymph nodes feel hard, rubbery, and painless or fixed to the underlying structures.
It is especially important to contact the doctor if this swelling is accompanied by fever, night sweats, or unexplained weight loss that is a feature of lymphomas.
Don’t panic if you see a lump on your armpit after COVID-19 vaccination, doctors say
As more Canadians receive COVID-19 vaccines, more and more people might encounter a side-effect that radiologists want the public to be more aware of — swelling under the armpit, which can show up on mammograms during screenings for breast cancer.
Doctors are hoping that talking about it now will prevent people from assuming the worst if they notice a new lump in this area after receiving the vaccine.
With breast cancer screenings already delayed across the country due to the pandemic, “it’s important for people not to panic,” Dr. Jean Seely told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview.
Seely is the head of the breast imaging section at the Ottawa Hospital, and is the president of the Canadian Society of Breast Imaging.
She became aware of this side-effect after reports started emerging out of the U.S. of people who had received their COVID-19 vaccine, and then noticed new lumps in their armpit or collarbone area in the weeks that followed.
In a pre-pandemic world, a new swelling in the armpit region would be extremely worrisome. And while this side-effect is not dangerous, there’s no way for doctors to tell the difference on a mammogram between these lumps and the kind that would warrant a biopsy.
“They look the same, they’re swollen and they’re new from when we compare to previous tests,” Seely said. “So normally, that would be a sign of cancer if we see new swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpits.”
Seely said one of her own patients came in with swollen lymph nodes in January, worried about what the new swelling could mean.
Because of the reports Seely had heard of this being correlated with the vaccine, she asked the right questions, and found out that the patient had received the vaccine only a week prior — and her swollen lumps were in the armpit of the same arm that she’d received the shot in.
“So based on that, I was able to reassure her that this was very likely a side-effect of that vaccination,” she said.
They ran more tests to be sure, and by the time the patient returned for a follow-up three weeks later, the swelling had already disappeared on its own.
THE WHY BEHIND A SIDE-EFFECT
According to an advisory released in January by the Society of Breast Imaging, roughly 11 per cent of people experience this side effect after their first shot of the Moderna vaccine, with around 16 per cent experiencing it after the second shot. Cases of this side effect were also reported among those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but the exact percentage is unknown.
As Canada’s vaccine rollout moves along, this could mean thousands of Canadians experiencing an unexpected swelling of their lymph nodes.
“We’ve definitely seen some additional people at the Ottawa Hospital who have had a reaction with swelling of the armpit that has been showing up on their screening mammogram and on screening MRIs as well,” Seely said.
“I don’t think we’ve seen the full extent of it yet.”
That the vaccine may trigger this swelling isn’t a concern on its own. Lymph nodes are part of the body’s immune system, and help filter out bacteria and viruses.
“It’s very likely the normal immune response of the body to the vaccination,” Seely explained. “The lymph nodes is where the immune responses tend to occur. So it’s actually a very good sign that things are working well with regards to the vaccination.”
But radiologists are worried that if people aren’t warned of this side-effect, they could jump to assuming the worst. And if imaging specialists aren’t aware, it could lead to more complications.
“We want to make sure that people avoid unnecessary biopsies,” Seely said.
Swollen lymph nodes in the armpit would show up on any CAT scan of the chest, as well as ultrasounds and MRIs of that region, not merely on mammograms done during breast cancer screenings.
“This can happen to men, it can happen to women, and it can be seen on any CAT scan done of the chest,” Seely said.
“It’s very important for all imaging specialists to be aware of this and other physicians to be aware of it too.”
CANADIAN DOCTORS SWITCHING GEARS AMID DELAYS
In February, the Canadian Society of Breast Imaging and the Canadian Association of Radiologists put out a joint statement advising doctors on how to manage this new hurdle.
In the statement, they recommended that screenings be scheduled around vaccines if possible.
It’s an extra complication for doctors already dealing with massive backlogs.
“We stopped screening worldwide, basically, in March of last year, because of the pandemic,” Seely said. “We didn’t know at that time the best ways to maintain a safe imaging. So that stopped for about three months. And so we had to delay thousands. In Ontario there are over 300,000 women who’ve been delayed for their screening last year.”
More than 24,000 patients are still waiting for their routine screenings in Ottawa. These backlogs could be deeply harmful for patients who have developed cancer and are unaware.
When doctors were able to resume screenings in June with new protocols in place to ensure it could be done safely during the pandemic, they started “screening nonstop”, Seely said.
However, the added cleaning and safety procedures add time, slowing the process of catching up on delayed screenings.
“We’re doing evenings, we’re doing weekends, where we’re trying to catch up with that screening backlog, but there’s a lot of backlog to catch up on.”
The response for radiologists to this vaccine side-effect varies by province, region and hospital, Seely said. Some areas are so behind on screenings because of the pandemic that they are scheduling as usual, and just recording whether or not the patient had recently received the vaccine to have the information on file.
Other regions, despite dealing with their own delays in screenings, are trying to follow the new recommendations, including Ottawa.
“A delay of over two months is something we’re really gonna try and avoid,” Seely said. “But if we know that they’re having their vaccination, we’re trying to schedule them before the vaccination. And if they’ve already had their vaccination, we’re just trying to wait for at least four weeks after that.”
They’re also asking any patient booked for a screening mammogram, CAT scan, MRI or ultrasound whether or not they’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine.
Although it adds challenges to scheduling, Seely is glad that awareness of this vaccine side effect is spreading. If doctors and patients didn’t know the vaccine could cause some swelling, it could lead to an influx of frightened people and “false positives”.
“What would have only made the situation even more difficult is if we had many more patients who needed biopsies or more additional diagnostic imaging,” Seely said.
She said that with patients they’ve had who’ve experienced this side-effect, it was resolved within three to four weeks. At six weeks after the vaccine shot, all side-effects should be fully gone, so if a patient was still experiencing mysterious lumps after that, that would be concerning.
“Anything longer than that, we would definitely want to make sure that there was no cancer,” she said.
Although she wants people to be aware that a new lump associated with receiving the vaccine isn’t a cause for panic, Seely said she wants to emphasize that people should still be trying to get screenings even during the pandemic.
“I think it’s really important for people to be reassured this is not going to interfere with our ability to diagnose cancer,” she said, “and that they should really not hesitate to get their regular checkups.”
A Covid Vaccine Side Effect, Enlarged Lymph Nodes, Can Be Mistaken for Cancer
Coronavirus vaccinations can cause enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit or near the collarbone, which may be mistaken for a sign of cancer.
As vaccines are rolled out across the country, doctors are seeing more and more of these swollen nodes in recently immunized people, and medical journals have begun publishing reports aimed at allaying fears and helping patients avoid needless testing for a harmless condition that will go away in a few weeks.
The swelling is a normal reaction by the immune system to the vaccine, and occurs on the same side as the arm where the shot was given. It can also occur after other vaccinations, including those for flu and the human papillomavirus (HPV). Patients may or may not notice it. But the enlarged lymph nodes show up as white blobs on mammograms and chest scans, resembling images that can indicate the spread of cancer from a tumor in the breast or elsewhere in the body.
“I am particularly eager to get the word out to all the patients undergoing surveillance after successful prior treatment of cancer,” said Dr. Constance D. Lehman, an author of two journal articles on the problem and the chief of breast imaging at the Massachusetts General Hospital. “I can’t imagine the anxiety of getting the scan and hearing, ‘We found a node that is large. We don’t think it’s cancer but can’t tell,’ or worse, ‘We think it might be cancer.’”
The swelling in the armpit was a recognized side effect in the large trials of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. In Moderna’s study, 11.6 percent of patients reported swollen lymph nodes after the first dose, and 16 percent after the second dose. Pfizer-BioNTech appeared to have a lower incidence, with 0.3 percent of patients reporting it. But those figures reflect only what patients and their doctors noticed, and radiologists say that the real rate is probably higher, and that many more cases are likely to show up on imaging like mammograms, or M.R.I.s or CT scans.
The condition was not listed among the reported side effects in a briefing document from the Food and Drug Administration about the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine. On Saturday, the agency authorized the company’s vaccine for emergency use.
Dr. Lehman said it was important for imaging centers to ask patients if they have had Covid inoculations and to record the date of the shot and the arm in which it was given.
Her clinic includes this advisory in a letter to patients whose screenings detect swelling but no other abnormalities: “The lymph nodes in your armpit area that we see on your mammogram are larger on the side where you had your recent Covid-19 vaccine. Enlarged lymph nodes are common after the Covid-19 vaccine and are your body’s normal reaction to the vaccine. However, if you feel a lump in your armpit that lasts for more than six weeks after your vaccination, you should let your health care provider know.”
One way people could avoid the problem would be to postpone routine mammograms and other imaging for at least six weeks after the last dose of vaccine, according to an article by an expert panel in the journal Radiology, published on Wednesday.
Oct. 1, 2021, 9:41 p.m. ET
A professional group, the Society of Breast Imaging, offers similar advice: “If possible, and when it does not unduly delay care, consider scheduling screening exams prior to the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination or 4-6 weeks following the second dose of a Covid-19 vaccination.”
But the expert panel also cautioned that nonroutine imaging, needed to help deal with an illness or other symptoms that might indicate cancer, should not be delayed. Nor should immunization.
People who have cancer are generally advised to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, particularly because they are at higher risk of dying from Covid than the general population. But some cancer treatments may interfere with the body’s ability to respond fully to the vaccine, and the American Cancer Society advises patients to consult with their oncologists about vaccination.
In recently vaccinated people who have cancer and develop enlarged lymph nodes, it may be necessary to perform more tests, including a biopsy of the nodes, Dr. Lehman said.
The State of Vaccine Mandates in the U.S.
- Vaccine rules. On Aug. 23, the F.D.A. granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and up, paving the way for mandates in both the public and private sectors. Such mandates are legally allowed and have been upheld in court challenges.
- College and universities. More than 400 colleges and universities are requiring students to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Almost all are in states that voted for President Biden.
- Schools. California became the first state to issue a vaccine mandate for all educators and has announced plans to add the Covid-19 vaccine as a requirement to attend school as early as next fall. Los Angeles already has a vaccine mandate for public school students 12 and older who are attending class in person starting Nov. 21. New York City has introduced a vaccine mandate for teachers and staff, but it has yet to take effect because of legal challenges. On Sept. 27, a federal appeals panel reversed a decision that temporarily paused that mandate.
- Hospitals and medical centers. Many hospitals and major health systems are requiring employees to get vaccinated. Mandates for health care workers in California and New York State appear to have compelled thousands of holdouts to receive shots.
- New York City. Proof of vaccination is required of workers and customers for indoor dining, gyms, performances and other indoor situations. City education staff and hospital workers must also get a vaccine.
- At the federal level. On Sept. 9, President Biden announced a vaccine mandate for the vast majority of federal workers. This mandate will apply to employees of the executive branch, including the White House and all federal agencies and members of the armed services.
- In the private sector. Mr. Biden has mandated that all companies with more than 100 workers require vaccination or weekly testing, helping propel new corporate vaccination policies. Some companies, like United Airlines and Tyson Foods, had mandates in place before Mr. Biden’s announcement.
She described one patient with a newly diagnosed breast tumor who had swollen lymph nodes on the same side, and had recently received a Covid shot in the arm on that side.
A biopsy was performed, an important step to determine whether there were malignant cells in the nodes that would then help decide a course of treatment. It was negative for cancer. The vaccine had most likely caused the swelling.
In another case, a woman who previously had cancer in her right breast had a routine mammogram that showed an enlarged lymph node in her left armpit, and no other abnormality. She’d recently received a Covid vaccination in the left arm. Doctors determined that no more tests would be needed unless the swollen nodes lasted more than six weeks.
In a man with a history of bone cancer, a chest CT scan performed as part of a follow-up found swollen lymph nodes in one armpit — on the side where he’d recently had a Covid inoculation. Nothing else was wrong and no further tests were needed. The same decision was made for similar findings in a recently vaccinated man who had a chest CT to screen for lung cancer, and in a woman with a history of melanoma.
For patients undergoing treatment for cancer in one breast, Dr. Lehman said, the Covid shot should be given in the arm on the other side. The vaccine can also be injected into the thigh to prevent any issues with lymph node swelling.
“This could really impact a lot of people if we don’t start recording vaccination status immediately at imaging centers,” Dr. Lehman said. “I also want cancer patients to know they can get the vaccine on the opposite side or even the leg to avoid confusion.”
Swollen Lymph Nodes | CS Mott Children’s Hospital
What are lymph nodes?
Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped glands throughout the body. They are part of the lymph system, which carries fluid (lymph fluid), nutrients, and waste material between the body tissues and the bloodstream.
The lymph system is an important part of the immune system, the body’s defense system against disease. The lymph nodes filter lymph fluid as it flows through them, trapping bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances, which are then destroyed by special white blood cells called lymphocytes.
Lymph nodes may be found singly or in groups. And they may be as small as the head of a pin or as large as an olive. Groups of lymph nodes can be felt in the neck, groin, and underarms. Lymph nodes generally are not tender or painful. Most lymph nodes in the body cannot be felt.
What causes swollen lymph nodes?
Lymph nodes often swell in one location when a problem such as an injury, infection, or tumor develops in or near the lymph node. Which lymph nodes are swollen can help identify the problem.
- The glands on either side of the neck, under the jaw, or behind the ears commonly swell when you have a cold or sore throat. Glands can also swell following an injury, such as a cut or bite, near the gland or when a tumor or infection occurs in the mouth, head, or neck.
- Glands in the armpit (axillary lymph nodes) may swell from an injury or infection to the arm or hand. A rare cause of axillary swelling may be breast cancer or lymphoma.
- The lymph nodes in the groin (femoral or inguinal lymph nodes) may swell from an injury or infection in the foot, leg, groin, or genitals. In rare cases, testicular cancer, lymphoma, or melanoma may cause a lump in this area.
- Glands above the collarbone (supraclavicular lymph nodes) may swell from an infection or tumor in the areas of the lungs, breasts, neck, or abdomen.
Common sites for swollen lymph nodes include the neck, groin, and underarms.
What does it mean when lymph nodes swell in two or more areas of the body?
When lymph nodes swell in two or more areas of the body, it is called generalized lymphadenopathy. This may be caused by:
- A viral illness, such as measles, rubella, chickenpox (varicella), or mumps.
- Mononucleosis(Epstein-Barr virus), which results in fever, sore throat, and fatigue, or cytomegalovirus (CMV), a viral infection that causes symptoms similar to those of mononucleosis.
- A bacterial illness, such as strep throat (caused by the streptococcus bacterium) or Lyme disease (a bacterial infection spread by certain types of ticks).
- Side effects of phenytoin (Dilantin), a medicine used to prevent seizures.
- Side effects of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination.
- Cancer, such as leukemia, Hodgkin disease, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which develops after a person contracts HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). This virus attacks the immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight off infection and some disease.
- Syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection.
How are swollen lymph nodes treated?
Treatment for swollen glands focuses on treating the cause. For example, a bacterial infection may be treated with antibiotics, while a viral infection often goes away on its own. If cancer is suspected, a biopsy may be done to confirm the diagnosis.
Any swollen lymph nodes that don’t go away or return to normal size within about a month should be checked by your doctor.
How long will lymph nodes remain swollen?
Lymph nodes may remain swollen or firm long after an initial infection is gone. This is especially true in children, whose glands may decrease in size while remaining firm and visible for many weeks.
Swollen lymph nodes: Doctors explain the COVID vaccine side effect that’s being mistaken for breast cancer
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — As more people are getting vaccinated, doctors are seeing an influx of women making mammogram appointments after noticing swollen lymph nodes in the arm region where they got vaccinated.
ABC7 news reporter Luz Pena is part of our vaccine team and spoke to experts who explain why you shouldn’t worry if this is happening to you.
RELATED: Reports of menstrual cycle changes after COVID vaccine highlight issues with clinical trials
Two days after getting the second Pfizer vaccine, Julie Mazenko felt a golf-ball size lump in her armpit.
“It was kind of painful and I touched and noticed that it was full of fluid,” said Mazenko, Discovery Bay resident.
Then she noticed a second one in her neck and a third in the other arm. One of the thoughts that crossed her mind was breast cancer.
“I do have a family history of breast cancer and I was a little concerned,” said Mazenko.
Dr. Laura Esserman is the director of UCSF’s Breast Care Center and says Julie is not alone. They’re getting an influx of calls from women who are confusing swollen lymph nodes after the vaccine for signs of cancer.
VIDEO: Women more likely to experience serious side effects from COVID-19 vaccine, CDC study reveals
“I’m sure hundreds of thousands of women across the country will be affected by this for sure,” said Dr. Esserman.
Most people get their vaccine in the shoulder area and it turns out we have 20-40 lymph nodes in that region. But why is the vaccine triggering them?
“The lymph nodes when they get swollen, if you have an infection, are just doing their job. In the case of a vaccine they are manufacturing the antibody for your body which is what you want,” said Dr. Esserman.
Luz Pena: “Have you noticed a difference between women who have swollen lymph nodes because of the vaccine and swollen lymph nodes because of cancer?”
Dr. Esserman: “On the mammogram they will just look bigger so you can’t really tell. On an exam, usually, sometimes that is obviously cancer. It is harder and more obvious.”
The Society of Breast Imaging reported that 11.6% of patients who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine had swollen lymph nodes after the first dose, and 16% after the second dose. Women who got the Pfizer vaccine also experienced these side effects.
REPORT: Bay Area man gets blood clot after J&J COVID-19 vaccine
“It’s a phenomenon we’ve noticed and we are tracking it,” said Dr.Bonnie Joe.
Dr. Bonnie Joe is the Chief of Breast Imaging at UCSF. She is also noticing a pattern in the images.
“It’s usually the same side that the vaccine was on and generally they are higher up. So the breast cancer lymph nodes will spread from the breast from lower levels to higher levels,” said Dr. Joe.
According to these doctors, the swollen nodes should be gone in between 4-10 weeks. And here’s when you should worry.
“Definitely a breast lump is the concern. So any breast lump, any focal symptom or if you have bloody discharge,” said Dr. Joe and added that if you are concerned after getting a vaccine, “Better to come in and play it safe and let us take a look and then we can let you know what to do next.”
Dr. Joe says they have seen this with other vaccines.
“We use to see this with other vaccines too. It’s just that now so many people are getting COVID vaccinations it has kind of been spiking,” said Dr. Joe and added, “We just want people to know that this is a normal reaction and it’s not necessarily a sign of cancer.”
As for Julie, it’s been six days since her vaccine.
“Not too much of a decrease yet,” said Julie Mazenko.
Oncologists and breast imaging experts are advising women who have scheduled mammograms to get them before the vaccine or 4 to 8 weeks after they are fully vaccinated to get a clear picture and avoid confusion.
Luz Pena: “Waiting those six to eight weeks if somebody does have breast cancer could that be detrimental to their health?”
Dr. Esserman: “Six to eight weeks is not going to make a difference one way or the other. Today what we understand about breast cancer is that it is not one disease it’s many different kinds and some are every slow growing and some are faster growing.”
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Mammogram May Show Swollen Lymph Nodes From COVID-19 Vaccine
If you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine and later feel a new lump or tenderness under your arm, near your armpit or on your neck, you might be worried that you’ve found cancer.
But you can put that worry firmly aside – at least for a couple of weeks, says radiology-breast imaging specialist Holly Marshall, MD. Dr. Marshall is Division Chief, Breast Imaging at UH Cleveland Medical Center.
Physicians are learning that the two COVID-19 vaccines currently in use can cause your lymph nodes to swell on the same side where you received the shot.
Those lumps are in response to COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Marshall says. They indicate that your body is marshalling its powers to fight the perceived intruder – exactly what is supposed to happen following inoculation. However, this does not happen to everyone, as everyone is different, she says.
“It’s a normal occurrence while your body is building an immune response to fight the virus,” Dr. Marshall says. “The swelling may be a sign that the body is making antibodies in response to the vaccine as intended.”
Since COVID-19 vaccinations started in December, radiologists started noticing swollen lymph nodes on mammograms and other imaging studies, and then realized these patients had been recently vaccinated for COVID-19.
An article recently published in the journal Clinical Imaging described four case studies in which four women with no history of breast cancer had swollen lymph nodes. Some of the swollen lymph nodes could be felt, others were visible only through imaging that their doctors ordered.
All four had recently received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in their upper arms a week to two weeks earlier. Three had received the Pfizer-BioTech vaccine; the fourth had received the Moderna vaccine.
A Side Effect
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reports that 11.6 percent of vaccine recipients experienced swollen lymph nodes after one COVID-19 dose, and 16 percent after the second. Swelling typically appeared within two to four days after vaccination.
“Sometimes with other vaccines, occasionally we will see swollen lymph nodes, but it was unexpected how many swollen lymph nodes our breast radiologists have been seeing on screening mammograms of patients who have been vaccinated,” Dr. Marshall says.
Return To Normal
The lymph nodes should return to normal size anytime from a couple of weeks up to a month or two later, Dr. Marshall says.
If the swelling doesn’t go away in a couple months, talk with your doctor about getting the swelling examined.
“Wait a few weeks, and if there’s no change, then come in and we will evaluate it,” Dr. Marshall says.
If you undergo a screening mammogram after receiving COVID-19 vaccine, you might get called back for an ultrasound if your lymph nodes appear swollen on the scan, Dr. Marshall says. The follow-up ultrasound helps physicians ensure the swelling is not due to a malignancy.
And, Dr. Marshall says, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is not a reason to delay your mammogram.
“It’s still very important for women to get an annual mammogram starting at age 40,” she says. “Do not delay.”
The breast cancer team at UH Seidman Cancer Center provides comprehensive care throughout the patient journey, from breast cancer screening and diagnosis, to the development and implementation of advanced treatment plans to recovery and survivorship. Our fellowship-trained cancer doctors offer the very latest in medical and surgical advancements in breast cancer care for men and women. Learn more about breast cancer services at UH Seidman Cancer Center.
90,000 In Norway explained breast augmentation after vaccination against COVID-19 :: Society :: RBC
Photo: Dinendra Haria / Keystone Press Agency / Global Look Press
When vaccinated against coronavirus, lymph nodes can become enlarged, making the breasts appear larger, Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, told NRK after social media reports of breast augmentation after vaccination in Norwegians.
“When vaccinated, approximately 10% of women may have swollen lymph nodes in the armpit,” Madsen said. According to him, he had heard of such cases in the United States.
Ukrainian dies hours after being vaccinated by Pfizer
A 17-year-old Oslo resident told NRK that she received her first dose of vaccine from Pfizer “a couple of weeks ago,” after which she noticed that her breasts were larger.
However, according to Heinrich Backmann, chief physician of the Breast Diagnostic Center at Nordland Hospital in Bodø, this effect is short-lived: the lymph nodes will recover in a few weeks. He also pointed out that the lymph nodes are enlarged on the side of the body where the injection was given.
90,000 when prescribed, efficacy, prices for radiation therapy for breast tumors in Moscow
Combination of radiation therapy with other treatments
Irradiation is combined with surgery or chemotherapy, depending on the stage of the malignant tumor.The general condition of the patient’s body also affects the tactics of treatment.
For ductal carcinoma (stage 0), one of the following methods is used:
Mastectomy. Removal of a malignant tumor as well as surrounding healthy tissue with or without radiation therapy.
Hormone therapy. Some women with ductal carcinoma also receive hormonal drugs as part of their treatment.
Every 6-12 months for 5 years, preventive observation by a mammologist is necessary, and then an annual mammography.Invasive cancers usually grow slowly and therefore can be cured if diagnosed early.
The only way to eliminate the risk of breast cancer in women with lobular carcinoma is to remove the mammary glands (bilateral mastectomy). Some women, especially those at high risk of developing invasive breast cancer, choose this option.
For lobular carcinoma, tamoxifen (a hormone-blocking drug) is often given over a 5-year period.This reduces the risk of developing invasive cancer, but does not completely eliminate it. Instead, postmenopausal women may receive raloxifene or sometimes an aromatase inhibitor.
Treatment of locally or regionally limited invasive cancer (stages 1-3)
For cancers that have not yet spread outside the lymph nodes, treatment almost always involves surgery to remove as much of the tumor tissue as possible.
To prevent cancer recurrence, do one of the following:
removal of numerous lymph nodes from the armpits;
removal of a lymph node or the first few lymph nodes in the immediate vicinity of the breast.
Mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery is often done to treat invasive carcinoma that has spread far within the milk ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma). Breast-conserving surgery is performed only if the tumor is not too large, since the entire malignant neoplasm, as well as the surrounding healthy tissue, must be removed. The first surgical procedure may involve excision of the lymph nodes in the armpits and then usually radiation therapy.
If the tumor is too large for breast-conserving surgery, then chemotherapy is given before surgery to reduce the size of the malignant neoplasm. If the medication has reduced the size of the tumor sufficiently, breast-conserving surgery can be performed.
After removal of the cancer and radiation therapy, chemotherapy is usually given. When cancer has estrogen receptors, women who are menstruating receive tamoxifen, during menopause, an aromatase inhibitor.
Treatment of breast cancer with metastases (stage 4)
Breast cancer that has spread beyond the lymph nodes is rarely curable. Many women continue to live with him for at least 2 years, and some even for 10 to 20 years. Treatment only slightly prolongs life, but may relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. However, some therapies have serious side effects.
Most women are treated with chemotherapy or hormone blocking drugs.However, chemotherapy (especially therapy that has serious side effects) is often delayed until symptoms (such as pain) have stopped.
Hormone blocking drugs are preferred over chemotherapy drugs in certain situations:
cancer has not returned for at least 2 years after diagnosis and initial treatment;
cancer is not life-threatening.
In some situations, radiation therapy may be given instead of or before taking medication. For example, if only one area of cancer can be identified, and that area is in the bone, radiation may be the only treatment.
Radiation therapy is an effective treatment for cancers that have spread to the bones. Radiation therapy keeps him under control for many years. Radiation is also an effective treatment for cancer that has spread to the brain.
Surgery can be performed on selected tumors in other areas of the body (such as the brain) as it may relieve symptoms.
90,000 How to catch breast cancer in time?
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women. Medical statistics confirm one important postulate – with timely diagnosis, it can be cured. Today we are talking with the mammologist, obstetrician-gynecologist of the Vilnius Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Center Julia Vitko.
“The statistics are eloquent: in the treatment of breast cancer of the first stage, up to 95% of patients recover, in the second stage – 10% less. The more” advanced “the disease, the lower the probability of survival. In the third stage, only 50% can be saved patients. And only one out of five women with the fourth stage can be cured “, – begins her story obstetrician-gynecologist Julia Vitko.
Regular preventive diagnostics
Regular annual preventive diagnostics can save the lives of many women. Unfortunately, not every woman takes proper care of her health. “Breast cancer is a silent killer. As a rule, for a long time, a woman does not even suspect about its harmful development, since she does not feel any pain or even discomfort. Changes in the breast become apparent, depending on breast size and tissue, when the tumor will grow to 1.5–2 cm. This means that the cancer is already approaching the second stage. If a woman continues to hesitate to see a doctor, the lymph nodes of the armpit may be involved in the process, then the treatment becomes very difficult, “says mammologist Julia Vitko.Every woman, starting from the age of twenty, must undergo a medical examination once a year. This is especially important when planning a pregnancy, using birth control or long-term hormonal therapy, or if you have already been diagnosed with benign breast changes such as cysts. A physical examination of the mammary glands is required before plastic surgery for breast augmentation or reduction. During the annual breast examination, the condition of the implants is also assessed.
Ultrasound or mammography?
The doctor decides which test to prescribe for you. An ultrasound scan, or ultrasound, is a more gentle study that does not expose a woman’s body to radiological (albeit small) radiation, unlike mammography. “Both of these studies are vital. For young women, whose breast tissue is very dense, the glandular component predominates in it, which is easier to see in detail with ultrasound, ultrasound is more informative.The new generation ultrasound equipment, which is equipped with the Medical Center for Diagnostics and Treatment, allows you to establish changes in the gland ranging in size from 4-6 mm, which, in fact, can be palpated only after a couple of years! This is very important, because pregnant or lactating women can only be prescribed ultrasound, “explained obstetrician-gynecologist, mammologist Yulia Vitko.
Photo mammologist, obstetrician-gynecologist of Vilnius
Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Center Yulia Vitko
First mammography women are recommended to go through at the age of 40, so that in the future, during subsequent screening studies under the breast cancer prevention program, in which all women aged 50-70 participate without exception, to see the dynamics of changes in the mammary gland. “After the onset of menopause, the hormonal background changes, the glandular tissue in the woman’s breast is replaced by fatty tissue. Such tissue transmits X-rays better, so mammography is advisable at an older age. X-ray examination allows you to detect changes in the breast measuring from 2 mm.
” Accuracy with ultrasound the study is about 87 percent, and ultrasound, together with X-rays, actually reveals changes in 100 percent of cases, ”says Yu.Vitko.
Alas, a method has not yet been found that would determine with a 100% guarantee whether a woman will get breast cancer, which is why it is so important to undergo regular preventive examinations. However, it can increase both with a genetic predisposition and with a certain lifestyle, which depends on awareness and our conscious choice.
In 5-10% of cases, breast cancer is the result of inherited gene mutations.If more than two of your close relatives have been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is recommended to perform genetic analysis by PCR for changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. This test can be ordered at the Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Vilnius. If the study confirms a mutation in the genes, then the most reliable method for reducing the risk of breast cancer in this case will be a mutual mastectomy – removal of both breasts.
The risk of developing breast cancer is higher in women who have not given birth or give birth late, as well as in those who have used hormone replacement therapy for more than 5 years and have used contraceptives for more than 10 years.Also, a higher risk is associated with early menstruation and late menopause.
Breastfeeding for more than 3 months significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer, even in women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
Are there methods to reduce the negative consequences of detecting breast cancer or methods to prevent it?
“ As I mentioned, the best method is yearly breast examinations and detecting new growths at the earliest stage, when the disease is easy to cope with. This is really very important “, – emphasized the obstetrician-gynecologist, mammologist Yulia Vitko.
Overweight and obesity, especially if they are found in the postmenopausal period, are directly associated with a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Women should take care of physical activity and control Your weight is not just for beauty, it is, above all, health.It is recommended to devote at least 150 minutes a week to medium-intensity workouts or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (for example, aerobics), as well as two strength training.A full, varied diet, as well as antioxidants, trace elements, vitamins A, E, D, beta-carotenes, will help reduce the risk of cancer.
Numerous scientific studies confirm the link between breast cancer and bad habits – alcohol and, especially, smoking. According to the World Cancer Research Foundation, women who are healthy, exercise regularly, do not have bad habits, whose body mass index is less than 30, the risk of breast cancer is three times lower than those who adhere to the opposite lifestyle. Reducing the risk of breast cancer is primarily in the woman’s own hands. It starts with how we live, what we eat, and ends with regular medical examinations.
90,000 ultrasound of the lymph nodes of the neck in Murmansk in the diagnostic center, to do ultrasound of the abdominal, axillary, inguinal, cervical, retroperitoneal, peripheral lymph nodes at low prices, which shows ultrasound of the lymph nodes
Lymph nodes are an important part of the human immune system. Their functions include cleaning the blood from viruses, bacteria, toxic substances, and various atypical cells.Hundreds of lymph nodes produce antibodies that protect the body from pathogens.
A healthy person does not notice the constant work of the lymphatic system and does not feel the nodes in his body in any way. With the development of pathology, the lymph node becomes denser, deformed, and painful. In most cases, the changes are visible externally.
To find out the cause of the transformation and choose a treatment, the patient is prescribed an ultrasound of the lymph nodes. Today, ultrasound is one of the safest and most affordable methods for diagnosing diseases.
In the clinic “Alfa-Health Center” in Murmansk, you can do an ultrasound of the lymph nodes at a convenient time and at a reasonable price. The examination is carried out on an expert class digital scanner. The price for ultrasound of lymph nodes includes a standard description from an experienced doctor of ultrasound diagnostics.
Indications for the procedure
An increase or change in lymph nodes almost always indicates a disease of nearby tissues and organs. Therefore, manifestations depend on the location of the pathological focus.
The doctor assigns the area of study, taking into account the current clinical picture.
- Ultrasound of the axillary lymph nodes is indicated for fever, weakness, general malaise. The structures increase in size and are well palpable as small round lumps. When feeling the armpit, the patient feels pain. Discomfort in the armpit is possible with sudden hand movements on the affected side.
- Ultrasound of the lymph nodes of the neck is prescribed for often recurrent pharyngitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, which are difficult to treat.The indication for examination is suspected measles, rubella. Inflammation of the cervical lymph nodes is often accompanied by difficulty swallowing, pain.
- Ultrasound of the inguinal lymph nodes is performed for swelling and pain in the legs, lower abdomen. Symptoms are accompanied by an increase in temperature and a deterioration in the general condition of the patient. Seals are palpable in the groin area.
- Ultrasound of the submandibular lymph nodes is prescribed if a malignant tumor is suspected. The structures also increase with infections, various lesions of the oral cavity.Scanning the submandibular lymph nodes allows the doctor to assess the severity of immunodeficiency after previous illnesses.
- Ultrasound of the retroperitoneal lymph nodes is indicated for hemolytic pathologies, fever of unexplained origin. The examination is carried out for abdominal pain when it is not possible to accurately establish the cause of the syndrome. Planned ultrasound of the internal retroperitoneal nodes helps to monitor the effectiveness of treatment of oncohematological, inflammatory diseases, assess the patient’s condition after surgery and plan interventions.
- Ultrasound of the lymph nodes of the abdominal cavity is prescribed for the diagnosis of pathologies of the intestines, pelvic organs. Scanning allows you to establish the cause of pain, plan the operation in cases where it is impossible to examine the patient by other methods.
- Ultrasound of the lymph nodes of the breast is prescribed in the presence of nodules, seals in the chest area. Scanning is carried out for mastopathy, various inflammatory diseases. Ultrasound examination is one of the methods for early diagnosis of breast cancer.
If indicated, ultrasound of peripheral lymph nodes of other groups is also prescribed: elbow, popliteal, submandibular, supraclavicular, subclavian, parotid.
Ultrasound is not informative with woody density of lymph nodes, the presence of syphilis, Koch’s bacillus, lepromatous cells. Diagnostic scanning is difficult in the presence of open wounds, purulent skin lesions in the area of the sensor installation.
How is the examination done
Ultrasound of the lymph nodes of the neck, abdominal cavity, mammary glands, inguinal and any other group does not require special preparation.The doctor will tell the patient in advance what rules to follow. The procedure is outpatient and lasts about 15-20 minutes.
After scanning, the patient is given a description of the ultrasound of the lymph nodes. To decipher the results, you must consult a general practitioner or the attending doctor who sent for the study. It is possible to make a diagnosis using a sonogram only taking into account laboratory tests, the patient’s current condition, and other important factors. Therefore, the decoding is not included in the price of an ultrasound of the lymphatic vessels and is done at a separate consultation.
What does ultrasound of lymph nodes show
Normally, on ultrasound, the lymph nodes remain invisible. Healthy structures are highly echogenic and transmit ultrasonic beams without distortion. Visualization is possible only in the presence of deviations from the norm.
During the examination, the doctor examines the shape, size, density of the nodes and adjacent tissues. According to the echogenic activity of individual areas, it is possible to detect metastases in the area of lymph outflow from the affected organ, to suspect a malignant process.
Ultrasound of enlarged lymph nodes allows us to make the following diagnoses:
- Lymphadenitis is an inflammatory process caused by infection in the most peripheral node or pathogens from the focus of lymph outflow.
- Lymphadenopathy – damage to several groups of lymph nodes simultaneously due to infection with tuberculosis, brucellosis, HIV, toxoplasmosis and other severe infections.
- Lymphosarcoma is an oncological lesion.
In our clinic in Murmansk, ultrasound of lymph nodes is performed as part of a comprehensive diagnosis of diseases such as syphilis, Sesari’s disease, actinomycosis, leukemia.To clarify the data, a biopsy, X-ray, and other studies may be required.
Sign up for an ultrasound of lymph nodes in Murmansk
Call us to make an appointment for an examination at a convenient time. The clinic’s registrars will tell you how much an ultrasound scan of the lymph nodes costs, advise on the cost of receiving narrow specialists, and answer all your questions. Our address: st. Komsomolsky prospect, 17, bldg. 11.
Ultrasound of the axillary lymph nodes Mytishchi | MC “Orange”
Ultrasound of the lymph nodes in the armpit can also be prescribed as an independent examination, but most often it is included in the complex mammological diagnosis in men and women.Their change can be evidence of the development of pathology, including cancerous tumors. You can scan the axillary lymph nodes in Mytishchi at the Apelsin Medical Center. Thanks to the use of modern sonological equipment, we can guarantee high accuracy and information content of the results obtained.
The armpits are located 12-45 lymph nodes, which are responsible for cleansing the organs of the chest, mammary glands and upper extremities from decay products and protecting them from infection.The second task of the lymphatic system is to protect organs and tissues from atypical cells of malignant tumors.
Ultrasound of the axillary lymph nodes reveals the cause of the changes:
- Inflammatory process in the mammary gland. Immediately after infection, the lymphatic system begins to fight the infection, the nodes increase slightly in size. This is not a pathological process and indicates that the body is actively fighting. In the event that he cannot cope on his own, and treatment is not carried out, the infection is transferred to the axillary lymph nodes. The skin above them becomes red, edematous, pain occurs when pressed. This is already evidence of lymphadenitis.
- Malignant tumor of the breast. In the early stages of the development of malignant tumors, the lymphatic system copes with the increased load. When cancer is not diagnosed and the woman does not receive adequate treatment, the tumor gradually spreads to the lymph node. Usually on ultrasound of the armpits, dense and elastic nodes, increased in size, are clearly visible. They are painless at first.The appearance of pain is the reason for an immediate mammological examination.
Any changes in the axillary lymph nodes are markers of serious diseases, including those that have a long latent period of development. When diagnosed with breast cancer, a study of the lymph nodes is mandatory.
In most cases, ultrasound of the axillary lymph nodes is performed simultaneously with an ultrasound of the mammary glands.During the scan, the doctor examines:
- Location of nodes.
- Their size and shape.
- Clarity of contours.
- Lymph node tissue structure.
The whole procedure takes about 20-30 minutes. After that, the sonologist will enter the data into the protocol and write his conclusion. Conclusion after ultrasound is not a diagnosis yet. The results must be interpreted by a specialized doctor (mammologist). If necessary, he will prescribe an additional examination and only then will he make a final diagnosis.
Appointment for ultrasound
Registration for ultrasound of lymph nodes in our medical center is carried out by phone +7 (495) 646-80-03 during working hours or using the online form. The procedure does not require special preparation, therefore, an appointment with a sonologist can be prescribed immediately after the attending physician sends you for an ultrasound scan. The procedure is paid for. You can check the prices at the reception or in the price list on the website. The cost may increase if the scanning of the lymph nodes is included in the comprehensive diagnosis.
Lymphatic edema of the hand after mastectomy
In the human body, lymph is formed in all tissues. In the upper limbs, it rises up the vessels, passes through the axillary lymph nodes and then through the ducts enters the venous circulatory system. Damage to any link in the lymphatic system can lead to the formation of the so-called lymphatic edema . With radical surgical treatment for breast cancer, not only the damaged breast tissue is removed, but also the lymph nodes in the axillary region, as a result of which the movement of lymph is inevitably disrupted.Despite the significant compensatory capabilities of the body, lymphatic edema in patients who underwent removal of the mammary gland (mastectomy) is almost inevitable. According to statistics, edema ( lymphedema or lymphedema ) develops in 65% of operated women. However, most likely, this figure does not reflect the real situation. The swelling does not necessarily show up as a huge, swollen hand, like a boxing glove, although such cases do occur. Sometimes it can be determined only by measuring and comparing the difference in the circumference of the hands at different levels, which will be only a few centimeters.Insufficiency of the lymphatic system may not appear immediately after the operation, but only after a few months, and for no apparent reason. Some women find swelling because suddenly the usual ring or bracelet has become a little small.
There is no tragedy in such a minor cosmetic defect, however, this signal should not be neglected. The skin is a reliable barrier between the body and the external environment, but after surgery on the lymphatic pathways, the protective functions of the skin are reduced.The smallest injury, scratch, insect bite or small burn, which we usually do not pay attention to, can become the gateway to infection and provoke such a serious illness as erysipelas or erysipelas. A sharp rise in temperature, fever, swelling of the hand and characteristic redness of the skin, usually do not allow it to be overlooked. Immediate medical attention and promptly prescribed intensive treatment, as a rule, quickly resolve the problem. However, after this lymphatic edema may be more pronounced, and the hand will become even more vulnerable to re-development of erysipelas.A vicious circle appears, and it can be very difficult to get out of it.
What should you remember and what rules to follow?
- Never ignore manifestations of even slight swelling of the hand, hand or fingers. Consult a physician at the first appearance of these signs.
- Try to use your good hand to administer medications and draw blood , although these procedures are performed with sterile instruments and after proper skin preparation.
- It is preferable to measure blood pressure on the healthy side of the arm.
- Where possible avoid lifting heavy items and do not carry heavy bags with a handle over your shoulder or in your hand on the side of your surgery.
- Do not wear tight jewelry or elastic, pressure bands on the arm from the side of the operation.
- Avoid any injury to the injured arm (bruises, cuts, sunburn, other burns, insect bites, bites and scratches that may be caused by pets, etc.)NS.). Wear gloves in cases where injury is possible.
- Maintain good hygiene, avoid dry skin and the formation of cracks , which can become an entry gate for infection, use moisturizers.
- Try , if possible, give your arm an elevated position (sofa cushion, etc.) to facilitate lymph drainage .
- Welcome light gymnastics aimed at developing the shoulder joint, the range of motion in which can be reduced after surgery. It is advisable to discuss the set of exercises with your doctor.
- Swimming is a very effective way to work out the arm and prevent swelling, and you should refrain from heat effects such as bathing.
- You need to be very careful about cosmetic procedures. Manicure, armpit hair removal, etc. should be done very carefully.
- For women with a large bust, it is recommended to use lightweight prostheses , as heavy ones can put too much pressure on the skin of the chest and shoulder.It is necessary to use well-fitted special bras , which are not too tight with wide straps to reduce pressure on the shoulders.
- At the slightest sign of hand swelling, it is worth starting to use the special compression sleeve , which can also be used to prevent swelling.
Glossary of common terms for diagnosing and treating breast cancer
Breast ultrasound – Ultrasound examination of breast tissue and mammary glands can recognize and characterize breast and axillary lumps.Ultrasound is performed without radiation and is an excellent test for women with high breast tissue density – in such cases, mammography can miss small lumps. At the same time, ultrasound does not replace mammography, but is an additional examination, since some things cannot be seen on ultrasound, for example, calcification, which is perfectly visible on mammography.
Genetic tests – in some cases, breast cancer develops on the background of a genetic predisposition.This usually occurs in women with a family history of breast / ovarian cancer (from the mother or father), or in women who develop cancer during adolescence. Genetic tests are done through a blood test, after which a geneticist draws his own conclusions.
Biopsy is a procedure during which a small piece of suspicious tissue is taken for microscopic analysis. Biopsy can be performed in several ways:
Vacuum biopsy – using a thick needle and vacuum.This biopsy is done under local anesthesia, usually stereotactically (under mammography), but can also be done under ultrasound.
Fine needle biopsy (FNA) is performed with a thin needle, similar to a blood sampling needle. The needle pulls several cells out of the tumor for microscopic examination to determine their nature. It can also be performed under an ultrasound scan.
Thick needle biopsy – performed under local anesthesia, tissue is sent for microscopic examination, can also be performed under ultrasound.
Stereotactic biopsy – vacuum biopsy performed under mammography. The patient lies on her stomach, the breast is passed through a special opening and squeezed between two plates, as during a mammography examination. Such a biopsy is only performed for detections that are only visible on mammography, such as calcification.
Tumor is the general name for the process of multiplication of tissue cells, which usually form a seal.The tumor can be benign or malignant (cancer).
Precancerous tumor DCIS or Ductal Carcinoma in situ – a tumor of cancer cells limited by the milk duct, which have not yet penetrated into the surrounding tissues and therefore there is no danger of metastases and there is no need for chemotherapy. Treatment of a precancerous tumor involves complete removal with clean surgical margins. If partial removal is performed, it is recommended to supplement the treatment with radiation.
Malignant tumor is a cancerous tumor, that is, cells that have the potential to spread to other organs of the body.
Benign tumor – a tumor consisting of ordinary, non-dangerous cells.
Additional radiation therapy (radiation) – radiation therapy, external treatment of breast tumors. After surgery and partial breast removal, doctors almost always recommend additional radiation therapy (sometimes after complete breast removal). Treatment is prescribed in fractions (in parts), daily, 5 days a week for 3-7 weeks. Each session lasts a few minutes.Irradiation does not lead to hair loss, nausea or vomiting, sometimes redness occurs at the site of irradiation, which disappears after the completion of the course of radiation.
Mammography – X-ray of diagnosing tumors in the breast, it is customary to take two pictures of each breast, in two different positions, 4 pictures in total. The amount of radiation on mammography is minimal. Even small lumps can be noticed on mammography and is the best method for detecting calcified areas in the breast tissue, which may be a manifestation of a precancerous or cancerous tumor.
Cancer is a malignant tumor with the potential to spread throughout the body in the form of metastases.
Fibroadenoma is a completely benign tumor, very common in young women, but can occur at any age. Usually, fibroadenoma manifests itself as a lump, but can only be detected on ultrasound or mammography. Most breast lumps in young women are fibroadenomas. The size of a fibroadenoma can be from a few millimeters to several centimeters.Most fibroadenomas resolve on their own or remain unchanged, and only a small number of them increase in size. Removal of fibroadenoma is recommended only if it is significantly enlarged and if it interferes, in other cases it does not need to be removed. Fibroadenoma looks very characteristic and therefore in case of detection of a classic fibroadenoma, you can skip a biopsy and dispense with short-term observation (usually 6 months). When fibroadenoma needs to be removed because of size or discomfort, it is a 20-minute operation, which can often take place even under local anesthesia.
Papilloma – a tumor inside the milk ducts. This is usually a benign tumor, but to be sure of this, the entire tumor must often be removed. Papilloma may appear as a discharge from the nipple or induration during palpation or on a tomographic scan. It is possible to establish that we are talking about papilloma only by a biopsy method.
Clip or clips are small titanium staples that are inserted into the breast tissue after a biopsy with a thick needle (through the same needle to mark the biopsy site.The clip can remain inside the breast and if there is no need for surgery, there is no need to remove the clip. It does not interfere with breast MRI, does not ring on magnetic passages, and does not interfere in any way. Another type of clips, “staples”, is placed at the site of tumor removal if additional radiation is required. Brackets can also remain forever and do not interfere with everyday life, MRI, etc.
Carcinoma – a type of cancer
Lymph nodes – are mistakenly called lymph “glands”.They are part of the body’s lymphatic system, located in the armpits, but can also be located inside the chest. Normal lymph nodes can range in size from a few millimeters to two centimeters and can enlarge for a variety of reasons, including infection or tumor. An ultrasound scan can recognize enlarged lymph nodes and, based on various signs, understand whether there is a suspicion of a tumor or an enlargement for a benign reason.
Receptors – are found on the surface of breast cancer cells.The receptors that are important to check are the receptors for estrogen and progesterone (hormones) and the Her2 protein, which an increased amount indicates a sensitivity to a biological medicine called Herceptin. It is recommended to check cancer cells for an index called Ki67, which indicates the rate of cell division. The higher the rate of division, the more dangerous the tumor.
PET CT – an integrative examination that combines CT and radiology, is very effective in detecting tumors and metastases.This examination of the entire body is performed along with the injection of a small amount of radioactive material and the collection of information by a CT machine.
MRI of the breast – examination of the breast and mammary glands, without radiation. This is done by an intravenous injection of a substance called Gadolinium. The test lasts 30-40 minutes and is performed while lying on the stomach. MRI is an effective diagnostic method, but its effectiveness is not only a plus, but also a minus. MRI also detects non-malignant lesions, but if such a lesion is found, there is no choice but to take a biopsy to make sure that it is not a cancerous tumor.To reduce the number of pseudo-positive results and improve their quality, it is recommended to perform the examination on the 7-14th day of the menstrual cycle.