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I'm scared- can't tell if it's real

(40 Posts)
PeppaAteMySoul Wed 11-Jan-17 16:24:26

I sufffer from health anxiety and I have a 6 week old baby and a history of postnatal depression. Let's just say my mental health isn't great or even good at the minute.

Today I have found a hard, fixed lump in my armpit. It's about 1cm and feels round and smooth. I am freaking out! A quick google seems to tell me it's likely to be a swollen lymph node and is characteristic of cancer that has spread.
How likely is this really though? Is it just my anxiety speaking? I will book a doctors appointment in the morning. Does it warrant an emergency appointment? Part of me wants to ignore the whole thing and put it down to the fibrocystic breast tissue I know I have. But that wouldn't cause a lump in my arm would it?

PeppaAteMySoul Wed 11-Jan-17 16:26:36

Also I have already been referred to the breast clinic earlier in the year. It was then I found out I had lumpy breasts. Going back so soon would just look ridiculous wouldn't it? I mean if it turns out to be nothing

picklemepopcorn Wed 11-Jan-17 16:27:40

There is nothing anyone can do tonight which will be quicker than seeing your GP in the morning. Try to to panic, there can be lumps and bumps there for all sorts of reasons. I went feeling quite anxious, and was told to stop shaving under my arms and given antibiotics. An infected something or other. It felt like a pea quite deep in my arm pit.

Tomorrow, so one who knows is having a look at it, and that is as good as you can get.

Try not to worry!

picklemepopcorn Wed 11-Jan-17 16:28:30

You won't be sent back unless there is a reason, and if there is a reason then it won't look ridiculous.

PollytheDolly Wed 11-Jan-17 16:29:39

Are you breastfeeding?

picklemepopcorn Wed 11-Jan-17 16:29:58

There are a few reasons those glands can swell, including infections, so having a GP look, then a referral if he isn't sure is the only way to go. Give Google a miss and have a brewcake

PissPotPourri Wed 11-Jan-17 16:31:32

I had lots of bums in my arm pits and breasts during the weeks after but due to my milk regulating. I really wouldn't worry, but get it checked if it's still there after a few days.

PissPotPourri Wed 11-Jan-17 16:31:50

Bumps! grin

GTS Wed 11-Jan-17 16:33:26

You are only six weeks postnatal, chances are it's much more likely to be breastmilk related, regardless of whether or not you are breastfeeding. If you are, massage around the area and make sure you are not engorged, express some off if need be. If you're not breastfeeding, do the same ie massage around the area, but I would speak to your HV or GP. Try not to panic, it's pretty common postnatally.

PeppaAteMySoul Wed 11-Jan-17 16:35:26

Yes breastfeeding. But the lump in my underarm not my breast. Can't feel any unusual lumps in my breast at all.
The lump is also hard and doesn't move. I thought that ruled out infection/ cysts.

I am putting google down and will call GP tomorrow. Just when I think anxiety is getting better something happens and I'm back to being convinced I'm seriously ill again. It's like my mind (which I know is me) can't just let me be happy and enjoy my baby.

PeppaAteMySoul Wed 11-Jan-17 16:38:08

Thank you all for messages I'm having a really shit day all round and venting my fear/ upset on here is helping. My DP is making me brew and has taken the toddler and baby for a little while and I feel like I can breathe again.

Jayfee Wed 11-Jan-17 16:49:40

I had exactly this and it was a cyst. I had to wait to get it removed in day surgery and it got infected whilst waiting so I had to het antibiotics. it hurts when infected, otherwise painless but hard. the day surgery was minor and i am a scaredy cat so dont worry.

hairypaws Wed 11-Jan-17 17:02:10

Please don't worry about this (easier said than done). Definitely get it checked tomorrow if possible, otherwise you will worry even more but it's very likely to be nothing serious. I had a similar lump but a bit higher up jaunt above armpit. I was sent for a mammogram and ultrasound and they decided it was fat to my shame! There are so many things it could be, majority of them perfectly innocent, especially given your hormones will still be all over the place. It's always best to get lumps checked but be assured it's likely to be fine.

PeppaAteMySoul Wed 11-Jan-17 17:20:05

Thank you hairy and jayfee whenever I find a lump my mind automatically goes to cancer so it's helpful to hear stories of when it's been fine

MinnieMinchkin Wed 11-Jan-17 19:00:29

I had this kind of lump earlier this year. GP told me that the smoothness of it felt non-threatening and all subsequent tests following the automatic referral showed it was nothing to worry about. Turned out to be accessory breast tissue hiding in my armpit. Try not to worry! smile

PeppaAteMySoul Wed 11-Jan-17 20:13:57

Thank you Minnie I need to stop prodding at it and just wait for tomorrow. I wish my mind would stop racing ahead to the worse possible outcomes.

GloGirl Wed 11-Jan-17 20:18:44

Is it painful? I get them they are a swollen lymph node but not due to cancer just fighting off infection. I remember being very run down after giving birth the first time.

Also could be something like a blocked duct caused by your nursing bra perhaps. Hope you can get an appointment for tomorrow..

PeppaAteMySoul Wed 11-Jan-17 21:44:15

It's not painful or anything. I really don't think it's a blocked milk duct but I guess we will see tomorrow. sad

Rachie1986 Wed 11-Jan-17 21:47:55

No advice above what everyone else has said but flowers and cake

PeppaAteMySoul Thu 12-Jan-17 09:18:27

Argh when I called the GP there are no appointments left for today and as I'm going away Friday- Monday the earliest I will be seen is Tuesday. That's only if I can get through in the right 5 seconds they have appointments. sad

picklemepopcorn Thu 12-Jan-17 18:18:15

Can you book online? That helps. Try not to worry, chances are it is nothing exciting at all,

FineLookingHighHorse Thu 12-Jan-17 19:20:54

Oh peppa firstly I wish I could give you a hug.
I'm also six weeks pp and sugferinge with anxiety. I have a history of both pnd and health anxiety so I really do sympathise with how youre feeling.

When I was thirty six weeks pregnant I found a similar lump in my breast/armpit and convinced myself it was cancer after much googling and worrying.
LongLong story short I went to the GP who fast tracked me to the breast clinic due to my anxiety and pregnancy. I had convinced myself that I would be needing a mastectomy straight after the birth and that I would surely die.

It was a lymph node. Thats all.

Really common in pregnancy and the pp period apparently.

Please please try not to worry and enjoy your weekend away. Easier said than done I know but its so very likely to be a simple swollen lymph node. Armpits are full of the buggers and if youre mentally and physically a bit below par then no wonder one has popped up.

Take care and be kind to yourself. Really dont worry until you have something to worry about.
Massive hugs and flowerswinecake for you.

ispymincepie Fri 13-Jan-17 15:11:33

I had exactly this when I was pregnant. I was referred for an ultrasound and it was axillary breast tissue. So in the line of milk ducts but not connected as I couldn't drain it. It's very common. It will reduce over time. Please google it to reassure yourself flowers

PeppaAteMySoul Sat 14-Jan-17 00:10:43

Thank you everyone. Ispy can I ask if your lump was hard AND immovable? Mine kind of feels like a glass bead stuck under my arm.

Lucked Sat 14-Jan-17 00:25:04

It is not characteristic of cancer, that is not to say glands can't enlarge with cancer but most people who have only a swollen gland under their arm don't have cancer.

The gland in the armpit swell up for lots of reasons. Skin irritations including the nipple, inflammation of the breast including infection/mastitis, eczema and general viral infections. so breastfeeding women often get swollen lymph nodes. They can take there time going back to normal too which stresses people out.

You can also get sebaceous cysts and ingrown hairs.

Look after yourself and try and not get too run down. Go to the doctors next week and try not to worry too much.

Best of luck.

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