lump under armpit - Breast cancer: Lumps, Causes And Treatment

lump under armpit

 What to do about Lump Under the Armpit

lump under armpit

Lump under the armpit, with the knowledge of cysts and cancer more prevalent these recent years, a lump anywhere on the body typically already causes concern. 

Lumps under the armpit are considered among those that require medical attention, as it typically comes about as one lymph node or more, many of which are found under a person’s arm, are enlarged.

Of course, a lump under the armpit typically has numerous possible causes. For example;  infections and cysts on the surface of the skin on the armpit itself may come about from shaving or antiperspirant use. 

These lumps on the armpit itself are common among adolescents who are just starting to shave. When the skin has abscesses, it may also result in a large and painful lump, whether in the armpit or just below. Lumps under the armpit are most likely caused by lymph nodes that swell up in response to a viral or bacterial infection, or in some cases, due to vaccinations or cancer.

This is because lymph nodes are actually filters that work at catching infectious organisms as well as cancerous tumors. 

When the lymph nodes do this, they increase in size, making them tangible outside the skin. This is why a lump under the armpit, particularly in ladies, needs to be consulted with a medical expert as soon as possible, as it may signal the presence of breast cancer. Indeed, certain cancers manifest with a lump under the armpit, particularly Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and leukemia.


If cancer is ruled out, bacterial infections may also cause a lump under the armpit, such as an infection on the arm or the breast. 

Ascending lymphangitis, lymphadenitis, or cat scratch disease are also common bacterial infections. A fungal infection may also cause a lump, such as sporotrichosis. 

Other causes include benign or harmless cysts, lipomas, or harmless fatty growths, or normal breast tissue that extends towards the armpit. 

Vaccinations may also cause lumps, particularly the MMR (mumps, measles, and rubella) vaccine, smallpox, and typhoid vaccine. Allergic reactions to iodine, penicillin, or sulfa drugs may also cause lumps under the armpit. 

Viral infections such as chickenpox, AIDS, infectious mononucleosis, and shingles may also cause lumps.

If you find any unexplained lump under your armpit, contact your medical professional immediately. Your doctor will help determine the cause of the lump. 

When you go to visit your doctor, it will be best if you can have the following information ready: 

  • when was the lump first noticed? 
  • Is the lump getting worse, better, or staying the same? 
  • Are you breastfeeding? 
  • Have you noted any trigger that seems to worsen it? 
  • Are you experiencing any other symptoms? 
  • Does the lump hurt?

The doctor will perform a physical exam, including palpation, which involves pressing the nodes gently using the fingertips. From there, the doctor may call for more tests, such as blood tests, a liver-spleen scan, kidney and liver function tests, a chest X-ray, a lymph node biopsy, and a mammogram.

In any case, you need to understand that a lump in the armpit, when caused by a viral infection or an allergic reaction, will go away on its own without treatment. 

Cysts or normal breast tissue that turn into lumps also require no treatment. It is typically the cancerous type of lump that requires immediate treatment, and the sooner you get the diagnosis confirmed, the greater the chances of recovery.

Reasons for a Lump Under the Armpit

Reasons for a lump under the armpit could vary. Did you ever experiencing soaping under your armpit to find something hard or a lump? Or perhaps you weren’t able to take a lot of time in examining your body and found out that you already had a lump the size of a quail egg. 

This enlargement underneath the skin happens when the lymph node has become enlarged. Lymph nodes run all over our body and it acts as a filter which is the reason why they are susceptible to infections. 

When it is infected, it may become enlarged. Sometimes we may experience having a lump under our armpit and when we conclude that it is small in nature or doesn’t hurt when we press on it that it is nothing to take seriously. 

However, lumps are a sign and should not be taken lightly. It is important to have it checked right away.

Although it might be something mild, there is high risk and danger of the possibility of it being cancerous. Even the smallest lump should be reported since it might grow bigger which will put you in more danger. Lumps no matter how big or small should be taken seriously.


Lumps under the armpit can be caused by several things. Bacteria can be one of the culprits. 

One of the common reasons why a lump may appear is due to shaving. There are chances of the skin breaking and becoming irritated. 

This can happen often to teenagers or adolescents. This may also appear because of the antiperspirant that is applied which the skin finds irritating; deodorants have fewer chances of irritating the skin.

Sometimes, pus may also form which is also commonly known as an abscess. The body may try to fight off any infection which causes swelling. 

The lump under the armpit may be painful. In order to get rid of it, there is an option of having it drained or taking medicine.

Some of it may be a breast or an arm infection or lymphangitis.  Another cause for the lump could be cancer such as leukemia. Women must notify their doctor right away if they have a hard lump underneath their armpit. A biopsy will reveal whether it is malignant or benign.

Vaccinations especially if you have an allergic reaction can be one of the causes; children who got a vaccination may have a lump which shouldn’t alarm you since it usually goes away after a few days.

This also holds true for lumps that are caused by viral infections such as STDs or even chickenpox. If you notice that you have a lump that moves it might be fatty tissue or otherwise known as lipoma and there is no other way to treat it but to have it removed surgically.

Since a lump can be caused by several reasons, it is stressed that you must see your physician right away for guidance. Treating the lumps depends on the doctors' findings. These kinds of lumps can affect both men and women.


Formation of Lump under Armpit

The formation of a lump under the armpit is an alarming condition, sufficient to make anyone anxious about the reasons behind it. 

lump under the armpit forms when the lymph nodes present in the armpits get swollen. The reasons behind the swelling of lymph nodes in the armpits are many;  and you would find that some of them can be quite serious. 

If you are facing the condition of a lump under the armpit, you should immediately look for the accompanying symptoms. Depending on the different symptoms; you would be able to find the major causes associated with the lump under the armpit. Here is a look at some of the reasons that can lead to the problem of a lump under the armpit.


What Leads to Lumps under the Armpit?

In case you are wondering about the reasons related to lumps under the armpit, you need to take a look at some of the common problems that can lead to them. 

While most of the cases of lumps under the armpit are associated with swollen lymph nodes, some of them also arise due to a skin infection. Cysts and infections on the surface of the skin in the armpit are also known to lead to the formation of such lumps. 

When the cysts get worse and abscesses form in the region, you would be able to notice a painful lump under the armpit in those cases. 

Generally, such painful lumps under the armpit are formed due to the excessive use of antiperspirants and shaving creams. 

Unnecessary shaving can lead to an increased probability of infection in this region, increasing the chances of a lump under the armpit. Apart from these trivial causes of lumps under the armpit, there are some serious issues associated with the problem too. A lump under the armpit in females is a dangerous sign that can signify the initial signs of breast cancer.


Analyzing Lumps under Armpits

Once you are clear with the symptoms of the lump under the armpit; you should proceed with a medical analysis of these lumps under the armpits. 

Your doctor would carry out a complete physical examination and would ask you some questions about the history and formation of the lump under the armpit

These questions would mainly be related to the details about the lump under the armpit; like those associated with symptoms, development, and progress of the lump.

Painful Lump under Armpit

Swollen and Painful Lump under Armpit


A swollen and painful lump under the armpit is a serious condition that can be related to a variety of problems. Generally, lumps under armpits can form due to a variety of reasons. 

While some of these reasons are quite simple and trite, others are equally dangerous and life-threatening. 

The lump under the armpit in males and females might have different reasons associated with them, with those in females being associated with problems like breast cancer. In order to analyze the painful lump under the armpit that you have recently encountered, you need to take a look at the symptoms that are accompanying this pain.


Lumps under Armpit


The lumps under the armpit can exhibit a variety of symptoms. In case you are noticing a painful lump under the armpit, it could be because of the formation of abscesses under the armpit. 

An abscess usually forms due to an infection that can affect the skin and leads to the deposition of pus in the region. Excessive shaving, usage of antiperspirants, deodorants, etc. can lead to such a problem under the armpits. 

Apart from a painful lump under the armpit, you can even encounter a lump under the armpit which is not painful. Such a lump under the armpit can be caused by a variety of reasons, like simple cysts or infections.

Sometimes, swollen lymph nodes in the armpit can give the impression of a lump under the armpit too. Such infections are caused by a variety of medical conditions.

It is essential that you take a look at the underlying causes of such a condition; as it can help in the diagnosis of the problem. Apart from the viral infections; bacterial infections are also held responsible for the formation of a small lump under the armpit.


Lump under Armpit in Females

While the cases of lumps under the armpit are similar in men and women; there are some specific cases that are related to breast cancer in women. 

In case you notice a painful lump under the armpit, you should get it evaluated for any underlying malignancy. It is possible that such a lump under the armpit might be related to a cancerous development in your breasts. The best way to take care of such a condition is to evaluate any case of a painful lump under the armpit at the earliest.

Lump under Armpit Male

Causes of Lump under Armpit in Males


The causes of lumps under armpits in males are a little different than those found in females. While a lump under the armpit in females can be related to the problem of breast cancer, there is no such problem in the case of men. 

On the other hand, a lump under the armpit male is related to improper hygiene and excessive shaving in the region. It has been noticed that apart from infections that can lead to lumps under armpits;  there are some other reasons which lead to such developments. Skin infections, cysts; and shaving are some other reasons that can lead to the formation of a lump under the armpit in men.


Lump under My Armpit

In case you are noticing a lump under your armpit;  you need to take steps to check for other associated symptoms.

Whenever you notice the symptoms of fever; headache or malaise, apart from the lump under the armpit;  it could be because of a viral infection in the body. Various bacterial, viral, and fungal infections are known to cause such problems in the body. 

It is essential that you do not take these lightly as some of them can be extremely dangerous. AIDS is one major problem that is caused by viruses and can lead to the problem of a lump under the armpit.

Shingles, chickenpox, lipomas, cat-scratch disease, etc. are some common problems that can lead to painful lumps under the armpit. Apart from these diseases, vaccinations are also known to cause lumps under the armpits. 

Typhoid and smallpox vaccinations are major culprits when it comes to the problem of lumps under the armpit. In case you notice such a lump under the armpit; it is better to analyze the accompanying symptoms as they can help in the correct diagnosis of the problem.


Diagnosing a Lump under Armpit

In order to diagnose a lump under the armpit, your doctor would conduct a complete physical examination of the lump. 

Other symptoms and problems would be marked down as they would help in the identification of the underlying problem. 

Once these steps have been taken, your doctor would interview you about the lump under the armpit.

 Questions about its origin, symptoms, timeline, etc. would be put up. You should make sure; that you are ready with their answers as they are of big help in identifying the reasons behind lumps under the armpit in males.