Lymph nodes found in the armpit that drain the lymph channels from the breast.
The axillary lymph glands are located in the armpit. They are divided into two sets: superficial and deep. These lymph nodes receive lymph from the vessels of the arm and the upper nodes receive lymph from vessels in the upper chest area near the pectoralis muscles (pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles) and the mammary glands. There are about 35 lymph nodes in the breast and armpit area. Most of the lymph nodes are located in or near the armpit. If cancer forms in the breast area it often spreads to the nodes because the lymph, along with other debris, can carry cancerous cells. Lymph flows in all directions, but about three-quarters of lymphatic vessels in the breast empty into the axillary nodes, which often become the first site of the cancer spread beyond the breast.