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Breast Cancer/Seek 2 nd opinion or wait for 6 mth evaluation


QUESTION: Should I have other test run or wait 6 months for follow up evaluation.  Here is the situation  and radiologist report.

Clinical indication - left axilla fullness
Technique - Gray scale image
Findings - there is an approx 4.1 x 2.6 x 1.5 cm nodular density with a central hilum.  There is minimal color flow.  This is compatible with lymph node.  There is no evidence of suspicious mass lesion, cystic lesion or microcalcification/fallout

IMPRESSION - birad 3, no ultrasonic evidence of malignancy , there is a 4.1 cm left axillary lymph node.  Follow up in 6 months for further evaluation

I am scared because of this lump in my armpit.  Do I have to wit 6 months.  Worried in 6 months will be a birad 4 or greater.
Any information would be helpful.  The lump had been there for about 4 months at time of ultrasound.

Thank you
D Marie

ANSWER: Based on the information you have given me your cancer risk is most probably low. So a 6 months waiting time is not particularly risky. However I suppose that you find this waiting time most uncomfortable. If so there may be another possibility available - if available where you are or somewhere else (MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Texas is or may be such a possible place) to which you can go without too much trouble or cost. The procedure I have in mind is a fine/thin needle aspiration biopsy of the lymph gland described in the report you mention. Such a biopsy can be done guided by ultrasound. Good luck!

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---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have scared myself by reading so much online and now worry of other possible causes for the swelling.  Should I ask for additional test to find out why the lymph node is swelling?

Does this  report state it is my lymph node or that is swollen or just dense tissue there?

Not really. The only thing of importance here is a malignancy. If none is present the most probable cause of a lymph node swelling is a local infection/inflammation. If no other signs of that are present it most probably has already passed away. So there is no reason to do anything more.

You can also reach me at:
There is no limit to the number of questions there. Please note: NEW SITE!

Donations are also always welcome! No amount is too small, no amount is too big!  

Breast Cancer

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Claes-Gustaf Nordquist, M.D.


I`m a doctor of medicine and a specialist in radiation therapy and medical oncology. I have long experience in diagnostics and treatment of breast tumours.


I'm a Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Medical Oncology and Radiation Therapy educated & trained in Sweden. Now retired. Background in Radiation Therapy, Medical Oncology, Radiation Protection, Nuclear Medicine, Diagnostic Radiology, Gynecological Oncology, Clinical Pathology, Clinical Cytology,Hematology and Internal Medicine. M.D. from the faculty of medicine, Royal Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. Have also been an exchange student at the Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem Israel. Former medical consultant, Swedish National Board of Radiation Protection. Former Police Surgeon and Medical Examiner, Stockholm Police Department. Former Chief Medical Officer, The Royal Guards, The Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Household Brigade, Royal Swedish Army Medical Corps.You can also reach me on: I have no restrictions on the number of questions there.

I also answer questions about Oncology (General Cancer), General History, Military History, Brain Tumors, Colon Cancer

I'm a medical doctor and specialist in medical oncology and radiation therapy.

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