Lump in Armpits – Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

lump in armpit

The most popular reason behind occurring the lump in armpits is the swelling of lymph nodes present beneath your armpit. The situation can occur in both men as well as women, however, women gets more nervous, when they find the presence of lump in armpits. There are a lot of other reasons as well of causing this problem.

Therefore, to provide you more details on this, we have tried to give you full information about the problem of lump in armpits along with its causes as well as its diagnosis. Read on to find details about the diagnosis as well as the treatment of the disease.

What is lump in armpit?

As mentioned earlier, lump in armpits means the enlargement of one of the small lymph nodes in your body, which are present in your armpit. Lymph nodes are highly important parts of the lymphatic system  in your body and plays a key role in protecting body from the outer infections and strengthening immune system.

The lump in armpit can be small and sometimes it can also be noticeable. This problem may also cause due to other health problems such as cysts, infection due to use of antiperspirants or shaving. Along with this, the occurring of lump in armpit can also be a sign of any underlying condition in your body.

If the lump in armpit does not go in a few days and starts to grow gradually, it is important to meet your doctor immediately to take suggestions and treatment over the issue.

Common causes of lump in armpit

Even though most of the times, lump in armpit is harmless and is an abnormal growth of the tissues. This growth can be caused due to various problems and most importantly, as mentioned earlier, it can be a sign of any underlying disease in the body. It is important to take the suggestion of your doctor on this. Your doctor can tell you the exact cause of the enlargement of lump in armpit.

This condition can also be caused due to various other reasons. Some of the common causes of lump in armpit are listed below.

  • Lipomas
  • Allergic reactions
  • Viral or bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Response to the breast cancer
  • Reactions to certain vaccinations
  • Leukemia, blood cells cancer
  • Lymphoma, lymphatic system cancer
  • Lupus, autoimmune disease majorly targets organs and joints

Lump in armpits in women

Lump in armpits in women can be a sign which indicates the development of breast cancer. Therefore, it is important for women to self examine for any breast lumps so that they can get quick treatment from the doctor to avoid future health complications.

However, you should also understand that in the period of menstrual cycle, breast undergo various body changes and may feel more lumpy as well as tender. This is normal. However, for the accurate examination, you can conduct self breast exam tests after three days once your period finishes.

Diagnosis of lump in armpits

For the proper and accurate diagnosis of the lump in armpits a thorough physical examination is always needed. Your doctor will also check for periodic changes in your lump or whether it is painful or not. Moderate massage can also be done to get information about the texture and the consistency of the lump. The examination of the lymph nodes is most usually is done with the help of hands.

Physical examination, sometimes, is enough for the accurate diagnosis and to know whether the lump is painful or not. It is also important to understand that certain lumps does not require any additional treatment such as lumps due to lipomas. If the lump is causing more problems, then your doctor may recommend a way to remove the lump from the body.

More detailed examination will help the doctor in further testing of the lump and to whether the changes in the lump is cancerous, infectious or allergic. The following tests can also be recommended by the doctor for more detailed diagnosis.

  • To measure the amount of white as well as red blood cells in your system, CBC or Complete Blood Count.
  • For more clearer vision of the lump, Breast of Chest X-Ray or Mammogram
  • Testing of the small piece of the tissue from the lump after removing it. This process is more commonly known as biopsy.
  • Testings for various allergies.

Treatment of lump in armpit

Most of the times the treatment recommended by your doctor on treating the lump in armpit depends on various underlying causes of the condition. Your doctor can prescribe oral antibiotics to treat the bacterial infection. Most of the times, the lump disappears after stating the consumption of antibiotics as the infection in the body starts to decrease. Your doctor can also hospitalize yourself for providing antibiotics through IV.

If the lump has occurred due to some allergies, it should start to decrease once you start consuming medications for it and to manage the controlling of various triggers of your allergy.

You can also use some home remedies to treat the condition of lump in armpit after getting suggestion from your doctor. Applying hot or cold compress helps in or consuming OTC pain relievers can be helpful in reducing the discomfort.

Certain types of lump due to the following health condition does not require any additional treatment and the treatment for the root cause is necessary.

  • Viral infections
  • Lipomas
  • Non-cancerous lumps in breast or fibroadenoma

For the cancerous lumps, your doctor may recommend the further treatment. This treatment also depends upon the stage of the cancer as well as. Some of the common treatment on cancer are,

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

Final thoughts on lump in armpit

The problem of lump in armpit can be a serious health condition as it is linked with major malfunctioning in the lymph nodes, which triggers the enlargement of it. Lymph nodes and the lymphatic system plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system in the body. Even though it is serious, following certain treatment and getting better medication can be helpful in getting rid of the lump in armpit.

Check out video for reduce the swelling of lymph nodes.

(Cover image source: Rowell Park)