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Topic: Swollen breast, told it can be permanent

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Oct 7, 2019 01:36AM

gypsyscout wrote:

My treated breast, already larger than the other, is swollen and sometimes painful 6 mos after radiation and 1.5 years after surgery. Has anyone had this problem for this long and then seen improvement? My first radiation oncologist warned it can be permanent.

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Oct 7, 2019 06:13AM godisone wrote:

Its a very strange thing that you are telling me here. suffering for around 2 years post surgery is no joke. please consult your doctor and discuss your discomfort with them. let them know it and get this thing treated. Its too bad for someone to suffer this long. There is no healthy reason behind this pain and swelling.

God bless you honey and keep us posted.

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Oct 7, 2019 11:54AM Spoonie77 wrote:

Has anyone mentioned to you the possibility of Breast Lymphedema? With physical therapy and manual lymphatic massage treatments it can be managed and less painful. I would suggest asking for a Lymphedema specialist referral for assessment.

Hope you find answers soon. I feel for you!

Life long "Spoonie" that entered BC World @ 41. DXd @ 42 w/MS. Treatment: LX/SLNB/RADs. Plan A: 5mg Tamox = 0 QOL. Plan B: OS/AI = Rare allergy to OS meds. Plan C: Only option left, Diet & Exercise. PS: Not a dr, just an avid Googler. Dx 7/20/2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 8/30/2018, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2 Surgery 8/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/1/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/30/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 7/2/2019 Zoladex (goserelin)
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Oct 7, 2019 03:49PM Bounce wrote:

I too highly recommend a lymphedema specialist.

My treated breast was slightly bigger to begin with and the swelling after surgery and then radiation was very bothersome.

I thought lymphatic massage treatment would be unpleasant but to my surprise I was treated with dignity and compassion and it really helped me start healing physically and emotionally.

Dx 8/5/2013, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/1/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 11/4/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2014 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 7, 2019 04:15PM edj3 wrote:

gypsyscout I commiserate with you, I'm seeing a lymphedema specialist but neither of us think my swollen breast is lymphedema or a seroma. It's visibly bigger than the non-operated breast and it hurts all the time.

My RO and my BS both said the breast w/ the cancer & radiation would shrink up so the swelling was a good sign I'd end up with similar sized breasts. But surgery was five months ago and radiation's been done for three months and my breast is still swollen.


Dx 4/9/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Oct 7, 2019 05:51PM Betrayal wrote:

My RO told me that radiation can cause changes in the breast for a year. Have you asked RO about breast fibrosis secondary to radiation? Pentoxyffylline and Vitamin E can be prescribed for this. I would contact the RO and ask to be seen.

Dx 1/7/2016, DCIS/ILC/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/1/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 2/1/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/4/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 3/31/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 5/19/2017 Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 7, 2019 06:06PM ruthbru wrote:

It can take a LONG time for things to settle down. It is definitely a good idea to check with a lymphedema specialist if you think that might be the problem. If it's not, it really can take a year or longer (think maybe 2 years) for things to get back to 'normal'.

"Invisible threads are the strongest ties." Friedrich Nietzsche Dx 2/2007, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-

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