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Topic: Swollen node/cording after SLN

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: May 2, 2017 08:54PM - edited Aug 19, 2017 05:31AM by

Rrobin0200 wrote:

Hi everyone!

Has anyone experienced a swollen lymph node in armpit after SLN biopsy? I am a month out from surgery and just noticed within the last week a swollen node and pretty significant cording. My surgeon referred me to PT. This cording and node swelling is in the right armpit, whereas the dcis was on the left side. However, since I Had a bilaterally mastectomy, surgeon biopsied the nodes on both sides and indicated that on the right side, she really had to dig them out. All nodes were clear. The pain from the swollen node and cording is quite bothersome. My appointment is next week with the pt. Any remedies until then

Dx 3/6/2017, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/31/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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May 2, 2017 09:04PM ChiSandy wrote:

What I thought were swollen nodes (in my breast at the core biopsy site and then a much bigger and painful one near my armpit after SNB) were both seromas. (I blister very easily, so it stands to reason I also tend to form seromas). I didn’t get cording till after I finished rads, and it was in my inner forearm (and popped spontaneously). My seroma actually exploded when the weight of my too-large breast pulled the SNB incision open—it had to be sutured closed (which worked). What helped me with the seroma till it finally disappeared was both intermittent icing and keeping a pillow between the underside of my upper arm and my ‘pit. (My BS’ NP gave me a homemade one with a velcro strap to hang over my shoulder like a purse, and it had a pocket that held a smaller cushion to put between the car’s shoulder belt and my breast).

Ask your BS if it’s okay to do stretching for the cording—and if she can refer you to a LE PT who can massage it.

Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters.... Dx 9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/2/2015 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2015 Femara (letrozole)
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May 2, 2017 09:14PM - edited Aug 19, 2017 05:31AM by Rrobin0200

oh wow. I never even thought of that. Did the seroma feel like a swollen node? Mine is painful. Would heat work or no? My bs did refer me to a LE PT, but I won't see her until 5/9. Ughhh! I feel like I can be doing something while I wait for the appointment. Massaging the area?Thank you for your input!

Dx 3/6/2017, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/31/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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May 2, 2017 11:24PM Italychick wrote:

my sentinel node area also came open and leaked fluid but then healed up fine. And yes, it did feel like a swollen spot there, hope that is all it is. I also got some cording after surgery, but it has resolved.


Lumpectomy 1/27/15, TCH chemo, Finished chemo 5/27/15, rest of treatments 2/17/16 Dx 1/23/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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May 2, 2017 11:53PM ChiSandy wrote:

The core biopsy seroma felt like a tiny pea—in fact, I was afraid it was a lump (my tumor was not palpable but found on a routine annual mammo) but the radiologist told the Nuclear Med. team at the radioactive seed placement that “there is a small seroma present at the biopsy site.” It was painless. But the axillary seroma? Hurt like hell and swelled to the size of a tangerine before it burst.

Diagnosed at 64 on routine annual mammo, no lump. OncotypeDX 16. I cried because I had no shoes...but then again, I won’t get blisters.... Dx 9/9/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 11/2/2015 3DCRT: Breast Hormonal Therapy 12/31/2015 Femara (letrozole)
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May 3, 2017 03:13AM - edited Aug 19, 2017 05:31AM by

thanks, gals! I massaged it tonight, and it does feel a tad bit better...

Dx 3/6/2017, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/31/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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May 5, 2017 12:23AM Jennie93 wrote:

I found lumps in my armpit twice, and because of the cancer history, they sent me right off for an ultrasound. Turned out to be enlarged lymph nodes... perfectly normal looking, just enlarged. They shrugged and said maybe the radiation irritated them.



49 at dx. Found on routine mammogram. Complications: cording, truncal LE. Dx 8/2012, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 4/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/5/2012 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/16/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/24/2013 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/23/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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May 5, 2017 01:49AM seachain wrote:

It's probably scar tissue. That is how cording forms. Scar tissue forms and starts acting like a tourniquet on the lymph vessels, thus pulling them taut. Tbh, the only way I know they can be "fixed" is by breaking the scar tissue. Make sure that the PT person you're seeing knows how to do that. Beware of the fact that it's a VERY intense pain, but it only lasts a fraction of a second.After which you feel SO much better. I had extreme cording (axillary web syndrome) after the ALND, over a dozen cords, my arm was stuck at a 90 degree angle at the elbow, and you could see those cords sticking out under the skin from the base of the thumb to the armpit. My ex was taught by the PT person to break the scar tissue in the armpit. I needed 4-5 times a day that done, and it would re-form in a couple hours and needed it done again. Took over 2 weeks before it completely disappeared.

If you want to know about risks with LD Flap reconstruction, ask me. Everything that could go wrong... well, did. Surgery 10/18/2009 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Dx 10/19/2009, LCIS/DCIS/ILC/IDC/IDC: Cribriform, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/20/2009 Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Chemotherapy 5/3/2010 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/12/2010 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 9/1/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Surgery 9/15/2010 Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Surgery 3/16/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 1/6/2016 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Nipple reconstruction, Nipple tattoo
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May 5, 2017 10:21AM - edited May 5, 2017 10:22AM by Icantri

Thank you seachain for your post! That is the best explanation I have heard for what is cording.

I was told I have cording and have googled it and asked my medical professionals but was never satisfied with what they said. The therapist did say that breaking up the scar tissue is how we fix it and I did feel much looser after visits, but I can see how that didn't resolve them in my case if the tissuegrows back that quickly. I had suspected as much.

Most sources say it will eventually resolve on its own so I have decided not to stress over it since mine isn't causing me any real trouble.

Thank you again. I am sorry for your experience. There is some good in sharing it though. :) Hugs and best wishes!

48 years old at diagnosis Dx 10/18/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/16/2016 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 12/14/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 5, 2017 02:05PM Binney4 wrote:

Icantri, you might want to check out the StepUp-SpeakOut page on cording here:

http://www.stepup-speakout.org/Cording_and_Axillar...

Some studies have been done that indicate cording involves thrombosed lymph vessels, so purposely "breaking" or "snapping" them is not recommended, as it may further damage the vessels. They do sometimes "snap" on their own, but the recommended treatment is not to snap them but to gently stretch the tissues, releasing the blockage. So perhaps breaking up surrounding scar tissue by gently stretching the tissue, as your therapist seems to be doing, will be a better route for you.

Hope you soon have real relief! Hugs,
Binney

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May 5, 2017 02:54PM Icantri wrote:

thanks Binney. The page you linked is one of the ones I found too in my quest to understand. :) My therapist released me after my last visit. Guess she felt there was no more to be done. I don't suffer from it, she was the one who told me I had it. I just didn't get (and still don't) how it will resolve on its own unless scar tissue somehow softens over time. But I am lucky, mine hasn't caused me pain as I know many others do.
48 years old at diagnosis Dx 10/18/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/16/2016 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 12/14/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jun 14, 2017 10:03PM Suz-Q wrote:

I still have cording over a year and a half later. I've had physical therapy for them last summer. The PT tried to get them to snap but they never did. Mine are though strong cords. I can't shave my arm pits properly because of it. I've read they eventually resolve on their own, but I really don't believe it

56 at diagnosis. Oncotype DX 10 Dx 9/17/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/3/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 12/14/2015 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/21/2016 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/4/2016 Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting
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Jun 25, 2017 12:20AM carmstr835 wrote:

I have cording too, it is painful and limits my movement. But I also have a lump that has grown on the cording, a very large cord. I doubt it is a lymph node, because I had all the 1st and 2nd level lymph nodes removed in a dissection. I am really worried the lump is a re-occurrence of my cancer. My surgery was 3 months ago, and my chemo was delayed until May 17th. I noticed it about 1 week after my 2nd chemo treatment and it sure seems to be getting bigger. The office seems to think this lump or nodule is related to cording. Does anyone else remember or know of any lumps that grow on the cords that form? I will see my oncologist's nurse on Tuesday and they plan to do scans if they feel it is warranted after the examination.

Dx 3/1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 5/17/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 6/26/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/27/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 6/27/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Radiation Therapy 9/16/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 25, 2017 01:06AM - edited Jun 25, 2017 01:07AM by MinusTwo

carms - I would recommend that you get to an LET - a physical or occupational therapist trained & certified in LE treatment. They should be able to resolve the cording.

Hoping the answer is an easy fix.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Jun 25, 2017 11:12AM carmstr835 wrote:

Thanks MinusTwo, I have been looking, but have not found any with in 60 miles of my house. Hopefully when I go for my radiation in August they can get me in, I believe they have PT with this experience where I will be getting my 6 weeks of radiation. But here, all they have are regular PT and not very good at that. t really don't want to try it unless they are LE trained.

Dx 3/1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 5/17/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 6/26/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/27/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 6/27/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Radiation Therapy 9/16/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 25, 2017 01:27PM - edited Aug 19, 2017 05:31AM by

In my experience, the difference between a regular PT and a PT with LE experience, was like night and day. I went to a regular PT, and he looked at me like I was making up a new diagnosis. Once I switched to a PT/LE specialist, my lymphemdema swelling and cording became so much better within 3-4 weeks.

Dx 3/6/2017, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/31/2017 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant
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Jul 15, 2017 05:58PM carmstr835 wrote:

I thought I would share what that lump is. Not a recurrence, but another seroma, now I have 3 of them. All about 3cm or so. 2 in the left under arm and one in the right directly on some huge cording. The surgeon said don't let anyone massage the seroma, so my LE PT is being very careful BTW, I found a LE PT locally and seeing her 3 times a week now. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Dx 3/1/2017, DCIS/IDC, Both breasts, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/17 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 3/21/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 5/17/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 6/26/2017 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/27/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 6/27/2017 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Radiation Therapy 9/16/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall

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