Oncology (General Cancer)/lymph node


i'm a 50 yr old male. i have noticed a probably 1 cm node under left armpit a year and a half ago.... could have been there longer as far as i know. it is not growing as far as i can tell. i've also had a few groin nodes on left side same size or maybe bigger that MD had CT scanned back in '07 and came back normal. is a node under arm this size normal? or should i have my GP take a look at? it is moveable under fingers some. i do not feel one this size under the right arm. but i don't feel the groin nodes on the right side either. just wanted an opinion on if this warrants a visit to the doctor or if this is considered normal.
thank you.

A good rule of thumb is that if there is a "mass" on your body which is not changing and doesn't feel tender, it is probably benign.  The only way to tell for sure is to biopsy it.  A node in the armpit may very well be a furuncle, (an old infection of a hair follicle) which is benign.  Groin nodes are not uncommon in adults.  I would check the node once a month or so and see the MD if there is some change.  I should point out that there are some very slowly growing lymphomas that can behave this way.  Having one of these is not life-threatening, even if several years go by before anything is done.  In fact there is a controversy over whether anything should be done about this subcategory of lymphoma.  Hope this helps.  

Oncology (General Cancer)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Donald Higby, M.D.


I can answer almost all questions related to the treatment and natural course of most kinds of cancer, especially cancers of prostate, colon, lung and breast.


I have been a practicing medical oncologist for 36 years, and have been chief of service at a major medical center for 25 years. I've also done research in cancer treatments.

American Society of Clinical Oncology

New England Journal of Medicine American Journal of Medicine Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Hematology Transfusion Medicine

MD, Stanford University Internal Medicine residency, St. Louis University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO Medical Oncology Fellowship, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY

Awards and Honors
America's Best Physicians, last 14 years

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.