Lymph node metastasis : Good afternoon... - Lung Cancer Support

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Lymph node metastasis


Good afternoon! I have a question that maybe someone here can answer since I won’t see my onc until next Wednesday when I have my 3 month scan. Does anyone know if nsclc can metastasize to the lymph nodes just above your collar bone and to the tissue under your arms? Not really IN the armpit but just to the front outside portion? I’m asking because a few months back I had 2 spots that were a bit inflamed. One was on the left side of my collar bone and the other in the arm pit area I mentioned. Now, a few months later, I can feel a palpable lump (about the size of a pea) on my collarbone and the same sized lump in the arm pit area. These were not there 3 months ago. I know because I do a self exam every month because I am on Premarin and hormone replacement creates a breeding ground for breast cancer. Benefits outweigh the risks currently so that’s why I continue to take it. Anyway...the one on my collarbone feels more cyst like than tumor like. If I push on it it feels like one of those Tide pods. Squishy but like it could pop if I push too hard. The other one feels pretty solid and I can almost get my finger underneath it. I have a chest/abdomen/pelvis CT on the 11th and I’m going to ask that they put a marker by the spot on my collarbone but I don’t think my arm pit area will be on the scan. Any women here who may have experienced something similar I would appreciate any feedback. Doesn’t it always seem like we’re looking for lumps and bumps? I know I am. Especially since my tumor was missed at the original hospital for almost a year before someone saw it (my current doctor went back and looked at all the prior scans and he saw it when it was just the size of a Lima bean....the first hospital saw it when it was the size of a small orange/large lemon) Needless to say if it happens again I wanna catch it at the earliest possible stage.

Thanks everyone!


18 Replies

Hi D,

Did you have metastasis in the lymph at diagnosis or after? If so, and I’m not 100% sure, but I would think that once the cancer has metastasized to the lymph system any node can be effected. Glad you are getting a scan next week. Have you shared this development with your oncologist? Maybe a PET/CT would be better in this case? I’d certainly ask if it were me.

Wishing you all the best ~ Peg

ynkefan08753 in reply to PegD

Thanks Peg...and no. It was only locally advanced to the bronchial tube as far as I can remember. I forgot to mention it to my research nurse when she called last week. I’m just going to wait until I get there and let them decide if I need a pet scan. Even if I do, I still have to have this CT as it’s part of my clinical trial....every three months. Not sure when it stops. Maybe when I die since they do quarterly “mortality checks”. That cracks me up because I’m pretty sure my husband would let them know if I kicked the bucket...or they will figure it out if I don’t show up for a follow up....😂😂😂

Lovey1000 in reply to PegD

How do they rest a lit up lymph node found in pet scan after metastasis to the brain and a righ libectomy took place a year ago and brain surgery to remove tumor?? I’m thinking more chemo.. went to the tumor board yesterday and dr hasn’t called me but at time if pet scan I had a upper respiratory infection sooo maybe that’s why I lit up and the node is 2 cm

Ynkefan, based on my experience , nsclc can fairly well metasticize in any of the lymph nodes , or indeed show up elsewhere entirely, for example brain, liver, pancreas etc. Best to have a thorough chat with your doctors. If your CT scan indicates areas of concern , I would expect that your Dr's will order a PET scan or go directly to a biopsy. Stay positive. All Best Wishes, judg69

ynkefan08753 in reply to judg69

Thanks judg. For a second there I thought maybe you were a Yankee fan but then I remembered Aaron Judge is 99 not 69 lol.


Adding my voice to that of the others. Once the cancer has invaded your lymphatic system it can get to any part of the body served by that system. In other words it can go anywhere. Most often it travels from the node closest to the cancer and then moves outward from there. So the places that you mention could reasonably be the logical place for it to move.

So sorry you have a week of scanxiety ahead before you can get answers. Consider calling your oncologist’s nurse, describe what is going on and see if the doctor wants to move the CT and appointment up.

ynkefan08753 in reply to Denzie

Thanks Denzie 😊

Loveee1000 in reply to Denzie

Can a lit up lymph node in lung where Lobectomy was preformed light up at pet scan due to a upper respiratory infection on severe antibiotics at the same time the SR scan was done, no cancer found in the organs but a lymph node 2 cm lit up... any thoughts

DenzieModerator in reply to Loveee1000

It can and does happen. It’s been demonstrated in testing. Also, it’s been found that vigorous exercise can cause an increase in the SUV if done within 24 hours of the PET. If you want any more information send me a private message or start a new discussion, others might want to know too.


I have primary nsclc with mets to my brain and lymph nodes and can’t say I have ever felt lumps, which always surprises me. I would describe it as more of a swelling or puffiness especially in the collarbone area.

I think scanxiety is one of the hardest things to deal with and hopefully yours will be ok when you see your oncologist.

Take care Tina

ynkefan08753 in reply to Teen225

Thanks Tina 😊

Hi I had stage3 left upper lobe. Surgeon removed that lobe and some nodes.My tumor was very small. The onc said it was slow growing but very aggressive it went in my nodes. Surgeon removed some of the nodes. When results came back I was told it was stage 3. It never went any where else. But yes I believe it can metastasize it went from my primary in lung to nodes. I didn't do radiation they wanted me to. I done six months of chemo.I'm now going on 6 years cancer free that's what I call my Miracle. I hope that for you. Go to Dr and get those checked. You have a wonderful sense of humor and that will help you. Hope and faith don't give up fight I think you can do it. There are a lot of new treatments . Love susie jo1948

Thanks SusieJo. I’m so happy to hear that you are 6 years cancer free. I’ve been waiting to hear the words NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE for 3 1/2 years but my doctor said he just can’t declare that. Yet. I suppose as long as it’s stablr and not growing then that will have to be good enough for now. I will definitely have them check the couple of spots that are swollen and have lumps. It could just be cysts or something benign like that because I had a couple of benign cysts in my brain when they removed THAT primary tumor in 2006. I used to joke when people told me I should quit smoking because I had brain cancer and could get lung cancer. I would say “if brain cancer didn’t kill me lung cancer doesn’t have a shot”. Yeah well...9 years later I was diagnosed with the lung cancer. I don’t say that anymore lol. I actually quit smoking a year before I was diagnosed because I started working out 5 days a week, riding my bike 5 miles a day and eating healthy. I figured smoking was just undoing what I was doing. 11 1/2 months later...wham. I always ask myself had I quit a few years before that would I have gotten the cancer. My oncologist said probably. Cancer cells start forming long before they start doing damage. Anyway...I’m rambling. Thank you for the info and for sharing your situation. I wish you good health and a long life. 😊😊😊

I know it sounds corny but in the end I thinks everything is in G-d's hands. Best wishes.

You too let us know about those spots. I'll be thinking of you and hope everything is good. Love susie jo1948

Well it seems every lymph node from the belly button up is currently enlarged. It’s weird as they are all swelling one after the next. I am having my normal CT Tuesday. I guess my onc will decide if a pet is necessary once I see him Wednesday morning for results. It’s crazy how all of a sudden these things can just pop up out of nowhere. Add to it the fact that my bronchitis/pneumonia that was GONE...has come back. Woke up this morning with a chest full of congestion and coughing up aliens 👽. Has anyone else been plagued with a slew non cancer related illnesses ever since treatment ended? My doc told me it’s because the immune system was compromised during chemo and that it never fully returns to normal. I need some vitamins I think. Maybe a nutritionist would be a good idea for me...All I know is I leave for Florida on the 18th so whatever is going on in my chest needs to go away quick 😡. Ok I’m done whining lol.

I have metastasized lymph nodes in those exact spots that you describe. Both of those areas show up in scans so my oncs monitor then on my CT scans. You may not need a PET for your pic to know what is going on. My lymph node mets feel hard.

At this point I have a kind of gallows humor thing going with those mets. As a person with a driver mutation, I've needed periodic biopsies when I've had progression. Axillary nodes (in the armpits) are an easy target for biopsy - a breast surgeon can remove them in an outpatient procedure. An easy surgery to recover from, and spares me the dreaded bronchoscopy!

Fingers crossed for news you can live with when you get your scans.


gibdonnaleeCommunity Superhero in reply to scifiknitter

Wow, you girls are all going through an awful lot. I can call myself lucky since for now on Sandostatin I have no side affects, wishing all of you the very best and mostly good test results and race of mind.

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