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Lymphedema – Arm/Chest

Forums Cutaneous Melanoma Community Lymphedema – Arm/Chest

  • Post
    Erinmay22
    Participant

      Hey Folks – just wondering if folks have had issues with lymphedema in the chest/arm.  I had lymph nodes removed under my right arm.  Haven't really had many issues with Lymphedema (although not as careful as I should be).  

      In the right chest I've had on and off for the last few years what looks like maybe fluid?  last scans showed thickening of the skin in the right breast.  Of course if you google that it mentions a rare inflammatory breast cancer lol!  thank you dr google!  haha.

      I am talking with my doctor about it next week when I'm in.  Just wondering if other folks have experienced this at all.  

      Thanks!

    Viewing 11 reply threads
    • Replies
        ecc26
        Participant

          Hi,

          I also had a complete lymph node disection in the right axilla (armpit). I didn't have any trouble after that surgery, but about a year later I had a recurrance in that area and they basically did the whole surgery over again thinking they had missed some nodes (they didn't, I'm just unlucky). After that second disection I did have some problems with lymphedema- mild compared to what many experiece, but it was noticable in my arm and right breast. My doctor referred me to a local physical therapist who specializes in lympedema. I saw her twice a week for a few weeks, then once a week, then every other week until it was reduced to a level I could manage myself. I have to say I kind of miss going to see her- the sessions consisted of massaging the fluid out of the various areas- I found it quite relaxing. 

          I haven't seen your scans and certainly don't know enough, but it's possible that chronic lymphedema in your chest (subcutaneous or somewhere in the breast?) could result in a fluid pocket (pardon the analogy, but if the sink drain is slow the water backs up). Definitely talk to your doctor about it though and get his opinion. If it really looks like fluid, they may be able to aspirate and test some (similar to a biopsy) to determine what's in the fluid, which may help them determine why it's there.

          No real answers on the thickened skin- it seems an odd thing to note on a scan- does it feel thickened to you? Again, perhaps a biopsy, or before that happens maybe a mammogram (could be a good idea for both fluid and skin)?

          good luck

           

          ecc26
          Participant

            Hi,

            I also had a complete lymph node disection in the right axilla (armpit). I didn't have any trouble after that surgery, but about a year later I had a recurrance in that area and they basically did the whole surgery over again thinking they had missed some nodes (they didn't, I'm just unlucky). After that second disection I did have some problems with lymphedema- mild compared to what many experiece, but it was noticable in my arm and right breast. My doctor referred me to a local physical therapist who specializes in lympedema. I saw her twice a week for a few weeks, then once a week, then every other week until it was reduced to a level I could manage myself. I have to say I kind of miss going to see her- the sessions consisted of massaging the fluid out of the various areas- I found it quite relaxing. 

            I haven't seen your scans and certainly don't know enough, but it's possible that chronic lymphedema in your chest (subcutaneous or somewhere in the breast?) could result in a fluid pocket (pardon the analogy, but if the sink drain is slow the water backs up). Definitely talk to your doctor about it though and get his opinion. If it really looks like fluid, they may be able to aspirate and test some (similar to a biopsy) to determine what's in the fluid, which may help them determine why it's there.

            No real answers on the thickened skin- it seems an odd thing to note on a scan- does it feel thickened to you? Again, perhaps a biopsy, or before that happens maybe a mammogram (could be a good idea for both fluid and skin)?

            good luck

             

            ecc26
            Participant

              Hi,

              I also had a complete lymph node disection in the right axilla (armpit). I didn't have any trouble after that surgery, but about a year later I had a recurrance in that area and they basically did the whole surgery over again thinking they had missed some nodes (they didn't, I'm just unlucky). After that second disection I did have some problems with lymphedema- mild compared to what many experiece, but it was noticable in my arm and right breast. My doctor referred me to a local physical therapist who specializes in lympedema. I saw her twice a week for a few weeks, then once a week, then every other week until it was reduced to a level I could manage myself. I have to say I kind of miss going to see her- the sessions consisted of massaging the fluid out of the various areas- I found it quite relaxing. 

              I haven't seen your scans and certainly don't know enough, but it's possible that chronic lymphedema in your chest (subcutaneous or somewhere in the breast?) could result in a fluid pocket (pardon the analogy, but if the sink drain is slow the water backs up). Definitely talk to your doctor about it though and get his opinion. If it really looks like fluid, they may be able to aspirate and test some (similar to a biopsy) to determine what's in the fluid, which may help them determine why it's there.

              No real answers on the thickened skin- it seems an odd thing to note on a scan- does it feel thickened to you? Again, perhaps a biopsy, or before that happens maybe a mammogram (could be a good idea for both fluid and skin)?

              good luck

               

              washoegal
              Participant

                I had a CLND under right arm and had every similar results.  minor lymphedema in the arm, but major problem in the breast.  Finally went to a massage therapist and got it taken of, but it did keep reoccurring.  Even went as far as get get Mastitis (guess it's not limited to nursing mothers…darn!).  My mammograms go show thickening of breast tissue as a result of the lymphedema/mastitis so I doubt if you have much to worry about.  So says Dr Mary vs Dr Google. 

                Best of luck,

                Mary

                washoegal
                Participant

                  I had a CLND under right arm and had every similar results.  minor lymphedema in the arm, but major problem in the breast.  Finally went to a massage therapist and got it taken of, but it did keep reoccurring.  Even went as far as get get Mastitis (guess it's not limited to nursing mothers…darn!).  My mammograms go show thickening of breast tissue as a result of the lymphedema/mastitis so I doubt if you have much to worry about.  So says Dr Mary vs Dr Google. 

                  Best of luck,

                  Mary

                    Erinmay22
                    Participant

                      For the skin thickening… can you tell by looking at the breast?  I met with my doctor and his first response was that it was most likely lymphedema (at least to him it looks like what he normally sees in the arm/skin).  Recommendation was to 'keep an eye on it' and see how it gets.  I am requesting to see a lymphedema specialist. 

                      Thanks for the info!

                      Erinmay22
                      Participant

                        For the skin thickening… can you tell by looking at the breast?  I met with my doctor and his first response was that it was most likely lymphedema (at least to him it looks like what he normally sees in the arm/skin).  Recommendation was to 'keep an eye on it' and see how it gets.  I am requesting to see a lymphedema specialist. 

                        Thanks for the info!

                        Erinmay22
                        Participant

                          For the skin thickening… can you tell by looking at the breast?  I met with my doctor and his first response was that it was most likely lymphedema (at least to him it looks like what he normally sees in the arm/skin).  Recommendation was to 'keep an eye on it' and see how it gets.  I am requesting to see a lymphedema specialist. 

                          Thanks for the info!

                        washoegal
                        Participant

                          I had a CLND under right arm and had every similar results.  minor lymphedema in the arm, but major problem in the breast.  Finally went to a massage therapist and got it taken of, but it did keep reoccurring.  Even went as far as get get Mastitis (guess it's not limited to nursing mothers…darn!).  My mammograms go show thickening of breast tissue as a result of the lymphedema/mastitis so I doubt if you have much to worry about.  So says Dr Mary vs Dr Google. 

                          Best of luck,

                          Mary

                          Linny
                          Participant

                            Yes, it is possible to get lymphedema in the breast as a result of an axillary dissection. It's referred as truncal lymphedema: http://www.lymphnotes.com/article.php/id/461/

                            But talking to your doctor about it is a good idea. You'll probably have to undergo a mammogram and some other testing to rule out breast cancer, though.

                            Lymphedema can occur at any time. I've read articles where women have gotten it 10-15 years after an axillary dissection.

                            If you find out that this thickening is a result of lymphedema, then you need to seek out a physical therapist in your area with experience in treating and managing this condition.

                            Linny
                            Participant

                              Yes, it is possible to get lymphedema in the breast as a result of an axillary dissection. It's referred as truncal lymphedema: http://www.lymphnotes.com/article.php/id/461/

                              But talking to your doctor about it is a good idea. You'll probably have to undergo a mammogram and some other testing to rule out breast cancer, though.

                              Lymphedema can occur at any time. I've read articles where women have gotten it 10-15 years after an axillary dissection.

                              If you find out that this thickening is a result of lymphedema, then you need to seek out a physical therapist in your area with experience in treating and managing this condition.

                              Linny
                              Participant

                                Yes, it is possible to get lymphedema in the breast as a result of an axillary dissection. It's referred as truncal lymphedema: http://www.lymphnotes.com/article.php/id/461/

                                But talking to your doctor about it is a good idea. You'll probably have to undergo a mammogram and some other testing to rule out breast cancer, though.

                                Lymphedema can occur at any time. I've read articles where women have gotten it 10-15 years after an axillary dissection.

                                If you find out that this thickening is a result of lymphedema, then you need to seek out a physical therapist in your area with experience in treating and managing this condition.

                                bodrum
                                Participant

                                  I got lymphedema in the chest area 2 weeks after SND.  It's painful… 

                                  bodrum
                                  Participant

                                    I got lymphedema in the chest area 2 weeks after SND.  It's painful… 

                                    bodrum
                                    Participant

                                      I got lymphedema in the chest area 2 weeks after SND.  It's painful… 

                                        buffcody
                                        Participant

                                          I had all lymph nodes removed from my left axiallary region at the age of 15.  At age 62, I had a lumpectomy because of breast cancer on my right side with all lymph nodes removed (Stage 2).  I have had no problems with lymphedema and have followed no rules.  One side of my body is as bad as the other, so how follow any rules. Grateful to have never had a symptom.

                                           

                                          Frank

                                          buffcody
                                          Participant

                                            I had all lymph nodes removed from my left axiallary region at the age of 15.  At age 62, I had a lumpectomy because of breast cancer on my right side with all lymph nodes removed (Stage 2).  I have had no problems with lymphedema and have followed no rules.  One side of my body is as bad as the other, so how follow any rules. Grateful to have never had a symptom.

                                             

                                            Frank

                                            buffcody
                                            Participant

                                              I had all lymph nodes removed from my left axiallary region at the age of 15.  At age 62, I had a lumpectomy because of breast cancer on my right side with all lymph nodes removed (Stage 2).  I have had no problems with lymphedema and have followed no rules.  One side of my body is as bad as the other, so how follow any rules. Grateful to have never had a symptom.

                                               

                                              Frank

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