Armpit Lump Male

Question

I am a thirty year old male. I found a hard lump in my armpit recently. It is painless and moves when I pushed it around in the skin. However, sometimes it causes me pain, especially when I carry a back pack and it rubs under my armpit. It is slow growing and other than this slight discomfort, it does not bother me. What do you think this hard lump in my armpit is?

Answer

There are various causes for armpit lumps in males. Although initially, it will incite fear about cancer, an armpit lump is not something which should worry you totally. However, it is always advised to seek medical opinion when you detect an armpit lump. An armpit lump in male is most often due to the following simple causes.

Enlarged Lymph Glands

The most common reason for armpit lumps in males is due to enlarged lymph nodes. There are a number of lymph nodes found throughout your body. These are located at intervals within the lymphoid system in various parts of the body. The lymphoid system is made out of a network of lymphatic valves that transport the lymph fluid. These lymph nodes help recognize and fight germs, infections and other foreign substances that enter the body. The swelling of a lymph node is mainly due to inflammations from the resistance to the germ. The most common cause of enlarged lymph glands is an infection. These can be ear infections, colds and flus, sexually transmitted infections, tonsillitis, tuberculosis etc. Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV can also cause your lymph nodes to enlarge. Treatment may be necessary if the lymph node is located in an uncomfortable area and is causing pain. Most often enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit may require medication due to its location. No matter where the lymph node is, it is always better to consult with your doctor and obtain a correct diagnosis in order to commence with treatment.

Lipoma

Another reason for a lump in armpit male is due to lipoma. Lipomas are small, round, soft fatty deposits located mostly in the upper torso. You may detect lipomas on the neck, armpit, groin area and upper thighs. It is usually less than 6cm in size and does not cause any pain. Lipomas are harmless tumours that do not require any treatment. However, if it is in a location that causes you discomfort, you may have it surgically removed. Do not assume that any lump in the armpit is a lipoma. It is always better to consider a proper diagnosis to rule out cancer and other serious illnesses that may require medication.

Allergic Drug Reaction

An armpit lump in male or female may occur due to an allergic reaction to medication. This is usually caused by drugs such as penicillin or asprin. If you are experiencing itchy, red bumps in the armpit area this is definitely due to an allergic reaction to medication. The lump may disappear once you stop taking the medication. However, if you experience shortness of breath, a doctor should be contacted immediately. Antihistamines and topical creams are usually prescribed as allergy symptom relievers.

Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Tumours of the immune system can also cause a lump in armpit male or female. A painless, localized single armpit lump is the first stage of this tumour. These tumours are cancerous and will require medication in the form of radiation or chemotherapy. In addition, the tumours will have to be surgical removed. If you are experiencing night sweats, persistent fever and unexplained weight loss, this could be symptoms of Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Quick medical attention is vital to stop the cancer from spreading.

Breast cancer should also not be ruled out. Although breast cancer is common in women, men too can get breast cancer as they too have breast tissue. Therefore, if an armpit lump in male is detected, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is the best course of action.