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"What could cause lumps?"


My sister says she has lumps in her armpits and groin. Is this dangerous? What could be causing this?


It sounds like you and your sister are concerned about the lumps she has noticed. The best thing for her to do to put both of your minds at ease and protect her health is to see her primary care physician right away for a more thorough evaluation. There are many different things that can cause swellings in the armpit and groin area--this is most likely enlargement of the lymph nodes in those areas--and some of the causes of so-called lymphadenopathy are benign and of no concern while in other cases lymph node enlargement can be the sign of a more serious underlying disease.

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In general, diffuse lymph node enlargement can be caused by certain infections, rheumatologic diseases, or malignancies, especially lymphoma. Your sister's doctor will want to ask a lot of questions about other associated symptoms, including any fevers, chills, night sweats, weight loss, or any localized symptoms in the area. For any patient with these symptoms, prior medical history, medications, and family history can also be important. Finally, it will be very important for a physician to examine your sister to look for any other signs of illness as well as assess whether or not further testing is needed. Hopefully this will turn out to be a minor diagnosis, but with any new symptoms like this it is best to see a physician immediately to rule out any more concerning causes. Book an appointment today.

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