Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest

Why would I have an enlarged lymph node in my breast?

By Anonymous April 16, 2009 - 6:21am
Rate This

I am a 30 y.o. female with no family history of breast cancer. I found a lump in my right breast a short while ago. Over the next few weeks I had 2 sets of mammograms and an ultrasound done. I called my gyn daily to get the results of the tests, and when they finally came in the FNP returned my call. She stated that it was benign, and when I questioned her further she said it was an enlarged lymph node. Not being a pushy person, and I didn't really have any questions prepared for this scenario I let it go and hung up. Now I can't find any info online for why I would have an enlarged lymph node in my breast. From what I'm finding it must not be a common place, because I have yet to find anything.

So, my question is...Is this something that should be further tested? It is still the same size as when I found it about a month and a half ago. The only other symptom I am having is that occasionally my breast will ache slightly. It's usually only for a few seconds and it quits. It occurs maybe 1-2 times a day.

Add a Comment154 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anonymous,

Following up with your treating physician is a good way to find out what is going on with you. Keep us posted. Stress can sometimes cause the lymph nodes to enlarge so don't be too concerned at this point. Wait for the results.

Good luck,


January 1, 2012 - 3:33pm
EmpowHER Guest

Same thing here, I'm 32 no family history of cancer and I found a small lymph node a few inches below my right armpit near my breast. I went to my NP and although she thought it was likely just a lymph node, she said she never ignores lumps in the breast area and refered my the breast clinic for an ultrasound and consult with a surgeon. I'm breastfeeding so they won't do a mammogram. I have to wait another week before my appointment and waiting is the worst. I'm a pretty anxious person when it comes to health issues, so this is really difficult, but it's been helpful to read all your stories. This is the only site I've found (and I've spent hours upon hours researching on the net) that specifically discusses swollen lymph nodes near or in the breast. I also have hypothyrodism and my levels haven't been checked in a couple years, so I'm going to get that checked too since others have found a connection between swollen lymph nodes and hashimotos disease (although I've not been diagnosed with that). I'll post an update after my appointment and I'll probably keep coming back to this site in the meantime, so keep the updates coming! Blessing and prayers for positive outcomes for all!

January 1, 2012 - 2:37pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am a 28 yr old female and just came back from having an ultrasound because I found a lump in my right breast about 8 weeks ago. It is on the outer part of my breast and is a little painful at times which radiates to my armpit. The ultrasound tech took all the pictures and left the room after because I requested copies of the images. She then came back in with the radiologist because he wanted to view the images live. He said he thinks that it is a lymph node..."thinks" and will write that in the report to the surgeon and it will be up to the surgeon as to whether or not he wants to biopsy it. Im feeling a little uneasy about how the radiologist seemed so unsure and nonchalant about the whole issue....What do you think...I think I will request to have a biopsy performed??

December 27, 2011 - 9:58am
EmpowHER Guest

I found a lump (lump is such an ugly word isn't it?) on my right breast recently. I'm kinda cysty/lumpy.... so usually I don't worry too much about little bumps and lumps... but this one I visibly saw when I was taking off my sports bra (arms raised way over head, contorting slightly as we all have to do in order to get out of those things).

I called my doctor, she saw me right away, gave me the order for my first mammo (since I'm under age 40 I haven't had one before) and an ultra sound at the state of the art Breast Center in my area. She also referred me to a surgeon. Hmmm. That scared me. I LOVE my doctor though, trust her, and know she is very thorough.

I called to make the appointment for the mammo/ultrasound and they couldn't get me in until December 30. Ok. I took the appointment. I called my doctor's office to make sure that date was OK... she basically said, "No. Try to get in sooner." Gulp. OK...

I call the Breast Center back and told them it was my first mammo and ultrasound, I'm kinda scared, my doctor wants me in ASAP.... is there any regular mammo that you can bump to December 30th and I can take their spot? Sometimes you just have to ask nicely. They helped me out and got me in within days.

Alright so I go in for the mammo and the staff is fabulous. The mammo technician is super friendly...but as soon as I take off my shirt she is able to see it, says, "Oh yes, there it is," and puts a sticker on it. Hmmm. A sticker on my boob. Ok. I find this slightly comical. It is supposed to help them see it in the mammo. OK... but still, there's a sticker on my boob and now it's being squished flat between two pieces of plexiglass. Comical.

Then the ultrasound. So now that my poor little lump has been squished and pressed on with the ultrasound wand... it's pretty darn sore. It was a little sore before (but probably just from me messing with it since now I was suddenly aware of it).

The specialist says it looks like a benign looking inflamed lymph node. I wasn't really expecting this, I was expecting cyst... so I didn't really know what to ask. He was very informative though and said that when there's a little bit of fat in the middle of the lymph node it's a good sign. When there isn't any fat in the middle of it, it's a bad sign.

But.... with that being said... he said he's pretty certain it's a lymph node. If it's not, what is that fatty looking middle area? Hmmm. I don't mess with cancer. It doesn't fight fair. My doctor referred me to her own personal breast surgeon, and I am meeting with him next week to have that little sucker biopsied and most likely just taken out.

I'm not a professional in anyway, and this is only my very first mammo and ultrasound... but I don't like the words, "Seems to be," or "Look like," or "Fairly certain." People make mistakes...doctors included. These tests are great... but if it can't rule out whatever swelling I have 100%... I want some certainty and I just want it out. When it comes down to it, this is my body and it's my responsibility. I want the little bugger out of my body if it's acting suspicious. Clean and simple.

If it was a different organ, like if we were talking hysterectomy, that would be different. But I have lots of lymph nodes that can do the job if that is what this actually is. So I feel really good just getting it out of me. :) Hope this helps someone else who is going through something similar! Best advice I can give ---- LOVE your doctor. If you don't LOVE your doctor, find one you do LOVE.

December 22, 2011 - 8:09pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hello, im just new to the discussion. But I want to share you what I've been through lately. I felt a solid mass on my right breast but it seems like it is attached to my ribcage not on my breast tissue. I felt I also have this kind of lump on my left breast but it is a bit large on my right. I went through a mammogram and sonomammography but the results told me it is just a lymph nodes. I was not contented on the result so I went through another mammogram and sonomammography and Im just waiting for the result. I am expecting that the result would tell that it is swollen lymph nodes. Sometimes theres pain, sometimes I can really feel and sometimes its the same size as my left breast. I hope you can share me if you happen to experience the same as mine.

December 3, 2011 - 6:57am
EmpowHER Guest

can i get a complete information about breast cancer and its stages.
do it have any dependency with cervical cancer.

July 20, 2011 - 12:25am
EmpowHER Guest

I have had a lump in my right breast since I was 21 (I am now 35 years old) was told a 'breast mouse' because it was moveable apparently and nothing to worry about. However, when I had my daughter 2 years ago I noticed it had enlarged again. Went back doc, sent to hosp and told me I was misdiagnosed 12 years earlier and it was actually an enlarged lymph node, had to have a needle aspiration taken from it (would have preferred biopsy) given all clear 2 years ago. Just found another lunp underneath original lump and some thickening to breast tonight. I am most concerned that because they did not biopsy it something is seriously wrong. I have been through this worry 3 times already and it certainly doesn't get any easier, think I am going to push for a biopsy this time as can't take the worry anymore.

June 16, 2011 - 3:07pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am in the same boat with the rest of you women. My practitioner found a lump at my annual exam 7 months ago. She sent me for a diagnostic digital mammogram and ultrasound. I was told everything was fine. At that time, I had trouble finding the lump myself even after my practitioner showed me where she had noticed the lump. Over the past few weeks this area has gotten larger. I scheduled an appointment to see my practitioner again next week but I have also scheduled an appointment with a surgeon for later next week. I requested a copy of my last mammogram and noted that the report stated there was "2 benign appearing enlarged lymph nodes". This same thing happened to a co-worker. She was told she had a "benign" lump and to come back in 6 mos for another mammogram. A friend encouraged her to get the "benign" lump biopsied. The friend stated, "How can you know it's benign without a biopsy?" She has now been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and has had a lumpectomy and started chemo treatments. I will discuss this with my practitioner but will most likely proceed with a biopsy. I don't think my mind will rest until I do. Good luck to you all!

June 6, 2011 - 4:30am

I'm also a person who has Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I have had half of my Thyroid removed and I'm on Synthroid 100mgs. Two years ago I had my regular mammogram and then was called back for an ultrasound of my
right breast. At that time I was told it was an enlarged lymph node and
was not any cause for concern. Today I went back for my scheduled
mammogram and apparently it is still there because
I have an appointment for another ultrasound tomorrow. I must say
reading the experiences of other people with this problem has been
very helpful. When they call you in they don't tell you why or explain
anything to you. If you ask, they just kind of fluff you off. I was a nurse
at one time so I DO understand how things work and could understand an
explanation. The practice of letting people just stew about things is TERRIBLE.

April 14, 2011 - 2:02pm
EmpowHER Guest

Had pain in my left breast and a mammogram and ultrasound found 2 cysts, nothing cancerous. However on the right side they found an enlarged lymph node which I had no symptoms of being there. My doctor said it looked perfectly normal...exactly as a lymph node that was fighting off an infection should look.. although I didn't know I was fighting any infection. I'm not going to worry about it. As for the left breast, my dr is setting up an appt with a surgeon to have the cysts drained to hopefully relieve pain.

March 24, 2011 - 12:58pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Breast Conditions

Get Email Updates

Breast Conditions Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!