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Topic: Lump in Throat and Red Chest

Forum: Radiation Therapy - Before, During, and After —

What to expect from treatment and ways to cope with side effects.

Posted on: Apr 9, 2020 10:02PM - edited Apr 9, 2020 10:06PM by JRNJ

JRNJ wrote:

I started radiation 3/30 and my lower throat feels swollen, like a lump in my throat. I read this is a symptom of radiation and could be from radiation scatter. My RO is saying it's not from radiation and maybe its how I am laying on the hard table. That is ridiculous. I know it's from the radiation. This morning my upper chest started to turn slightly red in the lower neck region, right where I feel the lump, and left of center, even though I am getting radiation on right side. RO again said not radiating neck and this is normal to get high lymph nodes and redness in areas that normally see sun like on beach is normal. Does this sound normal to everyone? Anyone else with swollen throat? and I'm so sick of Drs. dismissing my symptoms as something else.

Pleomorphic Multifocal, Extra nodal Extension, Lymphovascular Invasion. TEs removed due to infection Dx 8/15/2019, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/15/2019, ILC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 CMF Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/4/2020 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 8/6/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/25/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Apr 10, 2020 05:55AM RebzAmy wrote:

JRNJ, it sounds a bit like indigestion. I had terrible indigestion when going through chemo, and it felt like a lump in my throat that just didn't go when I swallowed. You may need something like Omeprazole. Hope you get it sorted.

Diagnosed June 2007, IDC, Grade 3, 4-5cm lump, several lymph nodes involved, HER2+++, 4 months of high strength chemo, mastectomy and lymph node removal, radiotherapy & a year of herceptin and recently had preventative surgery to other breast.
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Apr 10, 2020 01:45PM flashlight wrote:

Hi JRNJ, I didn't experience this, but there was a woman in my radiation group that lost her voice for most of the weeks I was there. It started out for her as a sore throat. She was having radiation to the lymph nodes in her upper chest. I thought radiation was given in kind of a rectangle shape. What your RO said doesn't make sense to me.

Dx 11/15/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Dx DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/1 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Surgery Lumpectomy: Left
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Apr 11, 2020 06:24AM AliceBastable wrote:

I developed a lot of intermittent hoarseness during radiation and lasting about a month after. I didn't have a sore throat, just a foggy, cracking voice. I was getting my left clavicle zapped, I think because I'd had micromets in my sentinal node. That's also the only area that got really red, I think because the skin is thinner there. But depending on how you're positioned, yes, it can cause pain. My shoulders were quite sore, and that pain would spread inward toward the throat at times. Even a year and a half later, the shoulders and clavicle area are more sensitive if I'm leaning on my arms.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Apr 12, 2020 12:20AM momof2winsplus wrote:

I had a sore throat at week 3 due to the supraclavicular radiation. RO had me turn my head farther to try and get my esophagus out of the field, and recommended drinking aloe vera juice. Between the two, my throat is much better (23/33rads complete)

Good luck

Dx 12/12/2019, ILC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/18 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 1/23/2020 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 3/19/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Apr 12, 2020 09:48AM MountainMia wrote:

JRNJ, your symptoms aren't nonsense. Regardless of whether or not the throat is getting scatter radiation, the whole chest is affected because there is some overall inflammation. I had a bit of a lump in my throat, too. And I would get a crampy feeling mid-chest from time to time.

As to the redness, ask what you can do to treat your skin, to keep it from getting irritated too quickly. Good luck.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Apr 12, 2020 01:10PM - edited Apr 12, 2020 01:12PM by AnnC2019

I had 25 sessions to my right side chest wall and also had throat issues similar to what you describe whichdid go away after radiation. I now have damage to my right lung. Hoping it gets better and not worse with time. During one session I felt a burning sensation inside my chest which really frightened me. I told the technicians but they basically said that can't happen. I did have a small round red spot on my chest after that which went away. Not sure what happened but it definitely happened to me

Dx 6/19/2019, ILC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 8/15/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/28/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 11/4/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 7/22/2020 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement
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Apr 12, 2020 09:14PM JRNJ wrote:

Thanks everyone for the feedback! Sometimes you need to hear you are not the only one. Drs. make you feel crazy.

RebzAmy, it feels more like inflammation, not indigestion, more like lump in the throat. I am taking pepsid because chemo gave me acid reflux. I like it better than Omeprazole.

Momof2, I was hoping he would recommend something instead of acting like its not possible to be from radiation. I am trying to turn my head more, but the mold is restricting me.

Mountainmia, that makes sense too. I have a lot of inflammation from chemo rebound. My arm and hand went numb and was in a lot of pain, and had pains all though body right after chemo and before radiation. RO gave me some steroids this week and they helped for the aches and pains, but the throat lump is still there.

Ann, hope you are ok. That is my concern. The lump is not that much of a problem right now, but I am paranoid it is a precursor to more permanent problems down the road. I am most afraid of lung cancer. I have casually smoked, but nothing in 3 years. CT showed some scar tissue in my lung which no one was concerned about. Are you seeing scar tissue or something more serious? I hate when they tell you that can't happen! We know our own bodies.

Pleomorphic Multifocal, Extra nodal Extension, Lymphovascular Invasion. TEs removed due to infection Dx 8/15/2019, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/15/2019, ILC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 CMF Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/4/2020 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 8/6/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/25/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Jun 1, 2020 07:58PM JRNJ wrote:

I still have a lump in my throat since 3/30. It feels constricted when I eat. I finished radiation 5/15. Is this normal? Now I am paranoid I have thyroid cancer. I don't even know which Dr. to tell, as my RO never felt it was from radiation. I guess I'll tell my MO, but should I give my body more time to heal? I don't have any other side effects from radiation.

Pleomorphic Multifocal, Extra nodal Extension, Lymphovascular Invasion. TEs removed due to infection Dx 8/15/2019, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/15/2019, ILC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 CMF Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/4/2020 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 8/6/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/25/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Jun 1, 2020 08:09PM AliceBastable wrote:

JRNJ, it's only been a few weeks since you ended radiation, give yourself time to heal before assuming scary things. The redness can last 6 - 8 weeks, probably longer for some people. I was hoarse for a couple months after finishing radiation.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 1, 2020 08:10PM happyhiker1 wrote:

I finished 15 rad sessions to left breast (deep breath hold) last week and since the last 2 sessions, I have felt a strange throat feeling, a bit like what you describe JRNJ. It feels a bit irritated as if I was catching a cold, but I'm not, and I have to clear my throat more often.

I mentioned it to my rad-oncologist and she didn't think it could be rad-related...but I don't see what else could have caused this, and I am hoping it will go away. It isn't a side effect mentioned in any of the literature, as far as I can see, but am wondering how it the rad could cause this. Maybe the inflammation idea that someone mentioned, so nerves in the throat area might be temporarily inflamed?? I really don't want to be stuck with this for the long term. Someone on another BC blog mentioned getting a cough after rad that hasn't gone away...so sort of similar, but again, I am hoping this goes away.

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Jun 1, 2020 08:32PM JRNJ wrote:

Happy Hiker, I have seen swollen throat listed as a side effect of breast cancer radiation, even though my Dr. said no. Mine is more like swollen, not sore, and not like a cold.

Alice, I figured that, but I'm getting nervous. The Dr. said it wasn't from radiation. I would like to think one of my Drs. knows what he is talking about, but at the same time I don't believe him. So if he is correct, than it is almost 3 months since chemo ended. Also to be clear, I am no longer red. My skin is thick and olive toned and healed pretty quick.



Pleomorphic Multifocal, Extra nodal Extension, Lymphovascular Invasion. TEs removed due to infection Dx 8/15/2019, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/15/2019, ILC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 CMF Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/4/2020 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 8/6/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/25/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Jun 1, 2020 11:50PM AliceBastable wrote:

Radiation doctors can be rather defensive about things like side effects. I had been told there would be no damage to my heart or lungs by the RO. About six months after radiation ended, I had to see a cardiothoracic surgeon for an unrelated issue. When discussing the possibility of future surgery, I mentioned radiation and asked if it would interfere with healing of the skin in that area. He thanked me for bringing it up, and said the damage he'd be concerned about was to the heart. I quoted the RO, and the surgeon slowly shook his head and said there's ALWAYS some damage. And I have to get CT scans for another health issue. Last October, a new smudge showed up on my left lung that the reading radiologist described as radiation damage. I just had another CT today, and that damage is now scar tissue on my lung. So your RO may not be completely honest about lingering damage.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 2, 2020 05:32PM JRNJ wrote:

Thanks Alice. I figured that since I am the eternal skeptic anyway. But I do think you are right, I need to give it more time to heal. They found some scar tissue on my lung also, pre radiation. Maybe from casual smoking. They didn't seem to worried about it, so hopefully we are both OK.

Pleomorphic Multifocal, Extra nodal Extension, Lymphovascular Invasion. TEs removed due to infection Dx 8/15/2019, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/15/2019, ILC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 CMF Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/4/2020 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 8/6/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/25/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Sep 2, 2020 04:19PM jennyjo20 wrote:

Hi JRNJ,

I was wondering if this ever resolved for you. I am currently experiencing the same thing. I'm 4 weeks out from my last radiation and it hasn't started to improve. It's very unpleasant and frankly feels pretty scary. This was certainly not a side effect that I anticipated, so I really appreciate you sharing your experience.

Oncotype 24; CHEK2 mutation Dx 2/2020, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/18/2020 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/17/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Hormonal Therapy 7/7/2020 Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 7/13/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/17/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 3, 2020 02:11PM JRNJ wrote:

jennyjo20, Yes it went away. Overall my radiation experience was by far the easiest of my treatments. I had a lump in my throat starting the first week, and it went away around 2 to 3 weeks after final treatment. My radiation was low dose. So if yours was higher, it just might take a little longer for the inflammation to calm down. I was just annoyed the dr. would not admit it was from radiation. I still have inflammation everywhere else, from chemo and endocrine therapy, but the throat lump went away. Good luck to you!

Pleomorphic Multifocal, Extra nodal Extension, Lymphovascular Invasion. TEs removed due to infection Dx 8/15/2019, LCIS, Right, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/15/2019, ILC, Right, 2cm, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 CMF Radiation Therapy 3/30/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 6/4/2020 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 8/6/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 8/25/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Sep 4, 2020 02:42PM jennyjo20 wrote:

Phew! I hope mine goes away soon too. The funny thing is, it comes and goes. In the morning the sensation is barely there, but as the day goes on, it tightens and feels swollen. I really appreciate you getting back to me. It helps me to be a little more patient with the process.

Oncotype 24; CHEK2 mutation Dx 2/2020, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/18/2020 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 4/17/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Hormonal Therapy 7/7/2020 Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 7/13/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/17/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)

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