Large lump in armpit 1 year after SNB - Young Adults with...

Young Adults with Melanoma

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Large lump in armpit 1 year after SNB


I am exactly one year out from my WLE on my central to upper back, and SNB from my left armpit. Today at Physical Therapy for pain in my left shoulder my therapist found a large lump in my armpit. I’m doing my best staying calm and collected tonight but I’m not going to lie, my head is spinning a bit. I’ll be calling my dr and possibly the surgical oncologist tomorrow morning, but I am curious if anyone else here has found a lump a year after the SNB near the site of lymph node removal. Thanks!

8 Replies

Good Morning,

I am so sorry you are going through this. Unfortunately, Melanoma is aggressive and yes it can pop up like that. I had a lump pop up three years later so go get it checked out. See your oncologist and have him take a look right away. Have you had a PET scan before? Maybe that should be on the table too. I’m not trying to freak you out but it’s best to stay on top of it, as you know. I can’t tell you not to worry because I have been there and I know how hard it is to shut your mind off. Try to breathe. My psychologist used to tell me “it’s nothing until it’s something”. You don’t really know what it is so it is nothing right now. Easier said than done. Keep me posted. And best wishes in health.


Hi there,

Please, yes, follow up with your oncologist! I am newly diagnosed and in treatment for Stage 4 recurrent melanoma and it went straight into my lymph nodes--from pelvis to neck--so it began near my original mole that was in my groin and that was removed ten years ago (and for which I had many lymph nodes removed after my sentinel node biopsy came back positive and I did a year of Interferon). So yes, it can come back and into your lymph nodes before anywhere else and out of nowhere. I found my recurrence by chance--I had lower back pain. Turns out after an MRI that my lymph nodes in my pelvis and through my lower back are huge and full of melanoma, pressing on my spine. I never felt any lumps--again I had all the close to the surface lymph nodes removed in that area. These are deep in my body. So ten years in, I am back dealing with my original melanoma diagnosis and it came out of nowhere as I was clear for at least seven years past my original diagnosis (they stopped scanning me after seven years so I can't say FOR SURE when my recurrence started). So go get all the tests done and don't let them tell you to "watch it" or not worry. You probably caught this early if it is the melanoma again. If it were me, I'd want a biopsy, and I'd demand a PET scan to make sure it hasn't gone to any other nodes. Lymph node recurrence has a good prognosis the earlier you catch it. Good luck, and let us know what the follow up says.

Hi Stacey,

My son was diagnosed in 5/16 with stage 2A Melanoma. He is monitored every 3 months with a chest X-ray every 6 months. Last Thursday, during his routine oncologist visit the skin check and X-ray check out good, however, he, too now has an enlarged lymph node in his sentinel node basin (supra-clavicle). The oncologist immediately aspirated the node and sent off for pathology. He immediately made an appointment for my son to have a PET-CT scan on this Thursday. This, of course, is not what we had anticipated at the almost 2 year NED mark, but are grateful the oncologist immediately set into motion appropriate diagnostic procedures. Please continue to advocate for your own health. My thoughts are with you, as you travel down the same road as we do. Melanoma affects family members just as it does patients. It's hard to be strong sometimes, but we must be. Sending healing thoughts your way.

Hi Stacey, I just wanted to comment as I an in a very similar situation so I can relate. I had my WLE and SNB 6 months ago, and just recently during a routine check-up the oncologist found an enlarged node (noticed by ultrasound but in the end it was palpable -- I just didn't notice it as it wasn't THAT big). For me, it's a turn for the worse as it turned out to be melanoma - hopefully confined solely to that node but now I have to go through all the additional diagnostic procedures and CLND probably, too. I really, really, really hope for you that it will turn out to be nothing. But do please get it checked. Fingers crossed for you and thinking of you!

Hi Stacey,

Just checking in. My son is in the same situation as you are and the oncologist is moving very quickly now. Within a 2 week period of discovering the enlarged node during his routine every 3 month check up, he has already had a PET/CT scan which indicated NED except for the 1 node. He is scheduled for a MRI of the brain as precautionary as we were told a PET/CT does not always show the brain clearly. He will have lymph node removal on 4/23 and will then begin Opdivo every 4 weeks. His oncologist told him melanoma treatment is changing constantly and most recently Opdivo was approved for stage 3B treatment, and the dosage is now every 4 weeks. Please continue to advocate for your care, as every day in a melanoma diagnosis counts. As his mother, I am really struggling, but there is hope for advanced melanoma patients. Never give up.

My son’s melanoma journey is almost identical to yours. I am grateful

every day for the new and effective

medications and the continued research aimed

at a cure.

How is your son doing with Opdivo treatment? My son is to begin next week on 5/10. He is 43 and in excellent health, otherwise. He will do the Opdivo 1x per month 480ml instead of twice monthly 240ml. He had CLD last week and only the one node out of 10 returned positive for melanoma, but there was nodalextension so a bit of melanoma was outside the node. We are waiting to see if they will add radiation to his clavicle area as well. As a mom, this is so hard as you know.

I am also sending healing thoughts your son’s way. Take care.

I agree with Robyn. I've had similar experience. Get it checked out. You know nothing until you know something. Seven years passed after snb when i had an enlarged node. I just had the nodes removed last week. They tell me prognosis is good though.

I hope its nothing.

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