Axillary Lymphadenopathy:  An Overview   

Axillary lymphadenopathy is a common condition that involves a lump or swollen lymph node in your underarms.

It is also referred to as axillary adenopathy or armpit lump, axillary lymphadenopathy occurs when your underarm (axilla) lymph nodes grow larger in size. This condition can either be mild or severe, it’s usually attributed to a benign cause. It may also be temporary.

In some cases, however, an enlarged axillary lymph node may be as a result of something more serious, such as an infectious disease or cancer. [1]

It is important that you are aware of any changes that occur to your underarm lymph nodes, as well as any symptoms of illness that occur at the same time. While many cases of axillary lymphadenopathy may go on their own after some time, others require further medical attention.

Continue reading this article to know more about axillary lymphadenopathy, including its symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

Symptoms of Axillary Lymphadenopathy

There are about 40 axillary lymph nodes in each armpit, axillary lymphadenopathy is characterized by swelling of one or more of it. The swelling may occur on just one armpit, which is known as unilateral, or both armpits, known as bilateral.

Unilateral swelling is most commonly a sign of an infection or disease on that side of the body. Bilateral swelling on the other hand tends to be a sign of systemic illness, that is, an illness affecting the entire body.

Swollen axillary lymph nodes can range in size from a small pea to a large grape. Your swell can feel spongy or hard like marble. Some symptoms associated with the condition include:

  • Warmth of the lymph nodes and surrounding skin
  • Redness of the lymph nodes and surrounding skin
  • Lymph nodes that are painful or tender
  • Lymphedema (swelling of the affected arm)
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue
  • Malaise [2]
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Night sweats
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Splenomegaly (swollen spleen) [3]