We are 206,156 members in 81 forums discussing 148,998 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

All TopicsForum: Lymphedema → Topic: Lymphedema in the breast

Topic: Lymphedema in the breast

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

Posted on: Jan 30, 2018 05:28PM

angiepie wrote:

I've been wearing a sports bra almost non stop and have gone to a lyphedema specialist for MLD, Kinisio tape, exercises, etc for two weeks to no avail. My breast is still quite firm and swollen. Any suggestions??

Dx 7/26/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/24/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 9/7/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 9/22/2017 Multi-catheter: Breast Chemotherapy 10/7/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
Log in to post a reply

Page 1 of 1 (20 results)

Posts 1 - 20 (20 total)

Log in to post a reply

Jan 30, 2018 07:05PM - edited Feb 13, 2018 11:59AM by buttonsmachine

Hi angiepie, I don't know if this will help you, but I thought I'd share my experience because I got very conflicting advice from healthcare people on how to manage my breast LE.

I developed breast LE after my lumpectomy and SLNB surgery. My LE therapist had me in sports bras, no underwires, etc.. But I am larger breasted so those weren't supportive, and the lymph was pooling on the underside of my breast. My breast surgeon then suggested that I keep my breast elevated to help drain the lymph. I tried a bra with a more perky shape and an underwire (although I should say that I do not have LE where the underwire sits), and it worked great! Most the lymph drained out in a day or two. I still have a little LE in the underside of my breast, but it is significantly improved now. For me, having breast support and elevation was the single most helpful way to solve the problem.

My friend who also has breast LE told me that solaris swell spots have helped her a lot. Maybe you could give those a try too.

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle track seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/31/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/26/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/12/2018 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 5/13/2018 Chest wall Chemotherapy 5/13/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine)
Log in to post a reply

Jan 30, 2018 07:25PM gb2115 wrote:

I don't have any advice, but I think I have breast LE too, developed over the last week. It goes away when I don't wear a bra but am having trouble figuring out what type of bra is best because I would prefer wearing one. I have a call out to my CLT, hoping she can help.

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
Log in to post a reply

Jan 31, 2018 10:46AM Lovey222 wrote:

Wow...I have similar symptoms and it never occurred to be it breast lymphedema. I was seeing a LE specialist until my exchange surgery in September. How were you diagnosed with this. Can you elaborate on what breast lymphedema feels like?

Thanks, Lovey


Dx 7/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 10/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 1, ER+/PR+ Surgery Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy Breast, Chest wall Surgery
Log in to post a reply

Jan 31, 2018 05:51PM angiepie wrote:

Thank you, Buttons! I am trying the underwire sports bra and have ordered a swell spot! Great ideas

Lovey- Apparently I've had it for months but it came and went and I just kept thinking it was from surgery and aggravation from chemo as well as the multi-catheter radiation I did in Sept. Was googlng and researching and figured it out and went to a lymphatic massage therapist. After two sessions with her (and no relief) she sent me to the Baylor Lymphedema Clinic/specialist...

Dx 7/26/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/24/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 9/7/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 9/22/2017 Multi-catheter: Breast Chemotherapy 10/7/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2018 07:41PM - edited Feb 1, 2018 07:42PM by hugz4u

Try no band around you rib cage. A really tight stretchy to small cami with a swell spot. That should work because you won't be trapping fluid around the rib cage with a braband. Under wires are usually not recommended but hey we're all different here and what works for one may not work for another. A band kills me unless super loose.

Log in to post a reply

Feb 7, 2018 11:41PM - edited Feb 7, 2018 11:44PM by Susanrebecca

Did they teach you how to do your own manual lymph drainage massage? Lots on YouTube. Really helped me with swelling and pain. Mine was bad for months even with massage, taping and physical therapy. It seemed to slowly get better after 3 years .Arimidex made my lymphdema significantly worse. Stopped taking it. I am now going to try tamoxifen. Since my lumpectomy was on the right side. I have to sleep on my left side or it increases the lymphdema in my right breast and armpit. My thoughts are with you.

Dx 11/17/2014, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+, HER2- Surgery 12/8/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right
Log in to post a reply

Feb 8, 2018 05:29AM gb2115 wrote:

I have found I have to apparently wear an undergarment that is not necessarily tight (like compression), but is absolutely smooth on the side. If the fabric wrinkles at all, fluid will fill the wrinkle in one area. Truly the most bizarre thing. I don't get bra strap indentations, just this fluid ridge. For right now I am making an effort to smooth the side of my bra during the day, and take it off when I get home. Seems to help. Planning to shop soon to try some different items. Maybe a loose cami. Gut feeling is that loose is best. I'm pretty small so could get away with it.

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
Log in to post a reply

Mar 9, 2018 11:35PM - edited Mar 9, 2018 11:35PM by Clynnejohn505

I just found this board. I finished chemo in Nov and rads in Jan. My breast started swelling during rads. In February it was better but now it's swelling again. I'm chesty and it hurts to not wear a bra. Are there lymphedema bras out there?

Log in to post a reply

Mar 9, 2018 11:57PM buttonsmachine wrote:

If you can find a BC supply store in your area, you could try some bras on. They also make compression vests. It's a lot of trial and error really, since you don't really know how the bra will affect you until you wear it all day.

I found that supportive high quality regular bras worked best for me. Fantasie and anita are good brands. Bras with no seams in the cup also work better for me. My friend had good results with solaris swell spots.

Hope you find something that works for you! I know how tough that can be.

Initial diagnosis at 32 years old. Chest wall resection 18 months later due to skin metastasis, probably from needle track seeding during initial biopsy. Skin graft from right thigh! Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/30/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 4/30/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 9/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/31/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/26/2017 AC Dx 1/2018, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/12/2018 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 5/13/2018 Chest wall Chemotherapy 5/13/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine)
Log in to post a reply

Mar 10, 2018 02:35PM Binney4 wrote:

Clynn, bummer on the breast lymphedema! Here's information on breast/chest lymphedema (or truncal lymphedema, as it's called):

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

If you scroll down on that page you'll find links to several ideas for dealing with truncal lymphedema--binders, camisoles, shapewear, compression bras, sports bras, and the Swell Spots buttonsmachine mentioned.

There's a lot of trial-and-error involved, but hang in there and you'll find a solution that works for you. Please let us know what you discover.

Gentle hugs,
Binney

Log in to post a reply

Apr 11, 2018 02:49PM LoveMyVizsla wrote:

For those who have LE in a specific area, my PT made me a “chip bag” similar to the Swell Spot, to wear inside my bra. She told me kno underwire until the LE goes away, and no tight band under the bra. I found an Under Armour bra that has cups (another thing she wanted, not just a sports bra), but the band was a little too tight. I went to JoAnn fabrics and bought a bra extender. They make them with two, three or four eyelets so they work with most all bras.

She used two tools on my scar tissues, and a machine called a Physio-Touch on my LE, along with massage, and kinesio tape. I really think the suction from the physio touch machine has made a big difference. It made the fluid move from my breast, down into my ribs, where it eventually moves to the groin lymph nodes and gets sent to the kidneys. I had to fly while my rib skin was swollen, so she had me wear a compression camisole, during the flights. I found a Spanx camisole and wore it. I had increased rib pain after flying, and can’t imagine what it would have been like without it. I showed her my camisole afterward and she wanted it tighter, and suggested putting a washcloth under it. I tried that, but I think adding the cloth to the unaffected side would have helped compress the after side more.

Hope this helps someone else

Diagnosed at 51yo Dx 10/5/2015, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 10/30/2015, DCIS, Right, 3cm, Stage 0, 0/4 nodes Surgery 12/10/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 1/15/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 8/10/2016 Radiation Therapy 9/6/2016
Log in to post a reply

Apr 11, 2018 03:22PM Hopeful82014 wrote:

My LE PT also made me a couple of 'chip bags' (at no cost!), which help a lot. I was also rx'ed Vitamin E and Trental for about 8 months which helped considerably with the hardness of the breast. One thing I've learned is that after surgery and RT it's an ongoing process to address/solve the various issues that crop up over time. It's not 'one and done.' Realizing that has helped me a lot.

Dx IDC
Log in to post a reply

Apr 11, 2018 04:20PM over70 wrote:

LoveMyVizla...Thank you for the information. What is the model # of the UnderArmour bra. Not sure if I have breast lymphedema. I have an half circle near the bottom of the left breast that sporadically gets a ltttle red and wrinkles. It is really weird because it can come and go within minutes and be completely smooth. My surgeon said it was lymph drainage. I've been experimenting with sports bras, that's I am curious about the Under Armour one.

Dx 11/10/2016, DCIS, Left, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/8/2016 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Surgery 5/24/2017 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Dx 12/5/2017, DCIS, Right, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/2/2018 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement
Log in to post a reply

Apr 11, 2018 07:30PM - edited Apr 11, 2018 07:30PM by angiepie

Thanks LoveMyVizsla! I have a Swell Spot but it is sooooooo big I only sleep in it. I just ordered some foam chips to make my own chip bag. And yes, would love to know the model # of that bra or even a picture of it.

Just sent my dr a message asking about Trental. Thanks Hopeful82014!

Dx 7/26/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/24/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 9/7/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 9/22/2017 Multi-catheter: Breast Chemotherapy 10/7/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
Log in to post a reply

Apr 11, 2018 07:51PM gb2115 wrote:

What do you do with a chip bag?

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
Log in to post a reply

Apr 11, 2018 09:11PM LoveMyVizsla wrote:

gb2115, you wear it inside your bra. The theory is that the lumpy texture helps kind of massage the breast, and free the trapped fluid.

Here is the bra. She liked this one because of the compression in between the breasts because it has molded cups. https://www.underarmour.com/en-us/womens-armour-eclipse-high-sports-bra/pid1293253?cid=PS%7CUS%7CBR%7Cggl%7Call%7CGoogle-US-All-DSA%7Call%7Call%7Call%7Cbroad%7Cdg%7CJN78A31C71C40&gclid=Cj0KCQjw5LbWBRDCARIsALAbcOf0BJYhmAT-Hk3UYtPxh9zysUFapYYKRbvkbhR6qrhiodz5TxpY47EaAnfFEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

If you’re in the US, Dick’s Sports has it, or you can order direct from UA.

Angie, my first Swell Spot was too big, so I ordered a smaller one. I still don’t like it because I feel like it cuts off the circulation under my arm.

Need to go look up Trental.

Diagnosed at 51yo Dx 10/5/2015, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 10/30/2015, DCIS, Right, 3cm, Stage 0, 0/4 nodes Surgery 12/10/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 1/15/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 8/10/2016 Radiation Therapy 9/6/2016
Log in to post a reply

Apr 11, 2018 09:20PM LoveMyVizsla wrote:

Here is my Swell Spot. I ordered mine from Bandages Plus.


Here are my chip bags. Same shredded foam as the Swell Spot. I don’t like the orange chips. They are Harder and very uncomfortable.



Diagnosed at 51yo Dx 10/5/2015, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 10/30/2015, DCIS, Right, 3cm, Stage 0, 0/4 nodes Surgery 12/10/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 1/15/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 8/10/2016 Radiation Therapy 9/6/2016
Log in to post a reply

Apr 11, 2018 09:32PM - edited Apr 11, 2018 09:34PM by hugz4u

These swell spot and type of chip bag products are all made to stop fibrosis and break it up if you have any. Fibrosis can make your area hard and fluid can't move thru it. You end up with a hard woody fat arm and other areas are affected. They also help drain fluid by directing the built up fluid to other parts of the body that can carry it away. That is why their are channels sewn in.

Go to stepup-speakout.org a website our smart girls here made. It's a real education tool to help you get on top of lymphedema. If you don't control lymphedema it controls you, getting worse and nasty.

It is prudent to find a well qualified lymphedema therapist to access you and train you and perform manual lymph drainage. The gold standard. The website I listed has a list of therapists.

Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2018 01:11AM Hopeful82014 wrote:

You're welcome, Angiepie. I hope you'll be able to piece together an approach that works for you; it's often a matter of several factors that have to be teased out and addressed over time. The trental/vitamin E regimen (you need both together) helped me a lot and I hope it might you (and LoveMyViszla) as well. FYI - I had NO side effects and the medications were not expensive - a rare situation in the world of cancer treatment :) Good luck!

Dx IDC
Log in to post a reply

Apr 12, 2018 03:49PM angiepie wrote:

That's the Swell Spot I have but only wear at night because its so big...and I have the smallest size. Anxious to try the chip bag. Ordered the Under Armour bra today. Dr. referred me to a new PT today so need to get an appointment set up.

thanks all!!!!

Dx 7/26/2017, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/24/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 9/7/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 9/22/2017 Multi-catheter: Breast Chemotherapy 10/7/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)

Page 1 of 1 (20 results)