Lymph nodes are small, oval-shaped organs that contain immune cells to attack and kill foreign invaders, such as viruses. Lymph nodes are also known as lymph glands. Lymph nodes are found in various parts of the body, including the neck , armpits , and groin. Lymph is a clear fluid containing white blood cells WBCs and dead and diseased tissue for disposal. The condition of having inflamed lymph nodes is referred to as lymphadenitis.
Don’t Be Alarmed by This COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effect That Could Be Confused With Breast Cancer
Swollen lymph nodes - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
Axillary lymphadenopathy, also known as adenopathy, describes changes in the size and consistency of lymph nodes in the armpit axilla. Lymphadenopathy caused by infection or other inflammatory processes is more accurately referred to as lymphadenitis. Along with swelling, axillary lymphadenopathy may involve tenderness, pain, redness, and fatigue, all of which can point to possible causes that a doctor can home in on in order to decide how to go about making a diagnosis and from there ,determine what, if any, treatment is required. Axillary lymphadenopathy is characterized by swelling and inflammation of one or several of the 20 to 40 axillary lymph nodes in each armpit. The swelling may be unilateral involving one armpit or bilateral involving both. Unilateral swelling often but not always is symptomatic of an infection or disease on that side of the body, while bilateral swelling tends to point to such an illness that's systemic. Swollen axillary lymph nodes can range in size from a small pea to a large grape.
breast lump found later followed by swollen lymph node
BOSTON - Swelling of lymph nodes in the armpit area is a normal response to COVID vaccinations, but when they are seen on mammograms, they can be mistaken for nodes that are swollen because of cancer. In some cases, the nodes are biopsied to confirm they are not cancer. To avoid confusion by patients and their providers, and to avoid delays in either vaccinations or recommended mammograms through the pandemic, radiologists at Massachusetts General Hospital MGH have published an approach to manage what is expected to be a fairly common occurrence as vaccination programs ramp up.
Our expert explains why a particular side effect of the COVID vaccine mirrors a breast cancer symptom. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. And one side effect — swollen lymph nodes under the arms — has been getting more notice because of the serious disease it overlaps with: breast cancer.