Having RA (and the compromised immune system that goes with it) has made me extra-sensitive to abnormalities in my body. If I find an abnormality, the past 3 years of my life has me well trained to get it checked out by a professional asap.
The other day I was standing in front of the mirror, putting on deodorant, when I discovered a little lump in my right armpit. My primary care doctor took a look at it yesterday. This morning the radiologist did an ultrasound of the lump. The radiologist says that it is most likely that the lump is a benign neural tumor - a tumor on the nerve. He said he has seen several benign neural tumors in the same location over the past couple of years.
Is it possible that the lump could be something more scary? Unfortunately, it is. But the radiologist said he didn't think so, because the mass wasn't very dense. Also, apparently cancerous lumps tend to have a black shadow on the ultrasound and this lump had a white one. The other good news is that the lump is far enough down my armpit that he was able to confirm that it is not associated with my breast tissue - and my primary care doctor did a breast exam yesterday and found nothing to be worried about there.
The only way to be certain what the lump is made out of is to get a sample of it. However, since the lump is so small (less than 2cm) and since it isn't associated with any muscle tissue (which would make removal more difficult), the radiologist recommends just removing the whole thing while we're at it (which is what they would want to do if it is something scary anyways.)
The radiologist is going to talk to my primary care doctor and then they will put me in touch with a surgeon. I'm not thrilled about the thought of surgery, but I am grateful that the RA has made me sensitive enough to my health that I went and got it checked out. I am also grateful for deodorant - because if I hadn't seen the lump in the mirror I probably never would have found it.