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Topic: Anyone have LE on opposite side of breast cancer and treatment?

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

Posted on: Aug 25, 2018 03:29AM

HouseDivided wrote:

HI - I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost two years ago, had a lumpectomy on my right breast, then SN removal on right side and targeted radiation.

Then about 6 weeks ago my left arm swelled up without an injury. It went down a little but is still noticeably larger. I saw my MO yesterday for a follow up and he said it looks like LE but that is weird since I had nothing done on the left side. He ordered some labs, a doppler ultrasound and a chest CT with contrast to check for blood clots.

While I wait for those results, I wondered if anyone has had a similar experience.

Also, it sounds like you shouldn't have lab work or blood pressure, etc. taken on the LE side but that's the side I use after the SN removal on the right side. I get the blood test Monday, should I just have it on the left side as usual?

Sorry for the questions, I know this is early in the game for this but it seems like almost everything I'm reading says the LE risk on the treated side although you may have it on both sides.

Any advice or stories are welcome! Thanks:-)


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Aug 29, 2018 08:44PM StillKicking wrote:

My cancer was in my left breast. I had a bilateral mast. and now have lymphedema in the right arm. I've always wondered if they did the checked the wrong lymph nodes during surgery.

Diagnosed Smoldering Multiple Myeloma (Blood Cancer) 07/2015 Surgery 8/8/2007 Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, ER+, HER2+ (FISH) Chemotherapy TAC Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Aug 29, 2018 08:50PM HouseDivided wrote:

Thanks so much for responding StillKicking! My left leg and foot are swollen now as well. Not sure what is up with me but it's good to hear your story. Take care!

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Oct 9, 2018 11:44PM WAJ wrote:

To HouseDivided: I had R Mastectomy 12/2012 with 20 lymph nodes removed...only 1 positive. LE onset halfway thru chemo. Fast forward almost 6 years later...I now have LE from head to toe & all extremities...literally. Ive seen numerous doctors & none have a clue. I have a Flexitouch LE pump I have to use 3-4 hrs daily. I’ve learned we are all different & react differently.

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Oct 10, 2018 07:20PM HouseDivided wrote:

Thanks WAJ. I'm hearing from the medical staff I am working with that the lymph system is unique in most people and so LE can appear on the opposite side or anywhere in the body although it's typically on the surgery/treatment side.

I've been lucky to find a great LE therapist who has been working with me to reduce the swelling. I am down 7" in my leg and 4" in my arm. I got the Flexitouch LE pump Friday and do it two hours a day. I can't imagine 3-4 hours a day! I also got measured for custom sleeves, I'm lucky that there is a manufacturer in Phoenix so I am buying direct for $100 a sleeve.

I feel for you, I am really praying that the LE doesn't start to affect my other side and body.

I also say regardless of the cause, the treatment is the same so let's get on with things!:-) Keep in touch please!

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Oct 11, 2018 12:27AM herskaren wrote:

I have been looking thru out the yrs for a site like this with no lucks. I just found this site and I also have a question..I had 21 lymph nodes removed under my left arm..21 yrs ago..plus did chemo & radiation. As time went on..I saw my right breast grow bigger...then my right upper arm..& it's also in my right leg and thigh as well. Is this common? Can anything be done for the right side? If so, what? Also..will be flying soon..do I need to worry about it? I've flown about 4 yrs ago with no problems. So I should be ok? I guess I am worried cause I'm getting older..71 young.Hoping someone can give me advice. Thank you.

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