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Swollen face

paula002's picture
paula002
Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 2007

Hello everyone,

I am 6 months post radio and 2 and a half months post last chemo treatment. Was only operated on to remove one lymph node. Over all things are looking pretty good.
However I would like to know if, after finishing treatments, any of you had a swollen face (cheeks mostly) and facial baby fine hair. If so how long did it last and what was the cause.
My chemo onc. says it's from the radiation and it might not go away. My radio onc. says it's from the steroids and that it will go away.
Any information regarding this matter will be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,

Paula

3_Putt
Posts: 19
Joined: Sep 2007

I'm 14 months post. I had a node or two removed from the right side of my neck. I will occasionally get some swelling in the area. It's not too noticeable, but I can feel it. My ENT says it's slow drainage, from the lack of nodes in the area.

I don't know about the hair. I didn't have to shave for several months, but now my beard growth is back to normal.

paula002's picture
paula002
Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 2007

Thanks for your reply 3_Putt.
Was your swelling worst during the treatments and it got better through the months? or Was it always as you describe it?
All the best,

Paula

TereB
Posts: 288
Joined: May 2003

Hi,

I've never had chemo so I don't know about it. I've had radiation twice in the head/neck area. If I had any swelling, I didn't notice it, perhaps because I was trying to get over the treatment. Before the first radiation, I had been on steroids and my face was swollen, it looked round and my face is actually long. After I stopped taking the steroids, little by little my face went back to normal.

I know I have baby fine hair, very light color, on my face, hair so light is hard to see and that I didn't have before treatment. I don't know what caused this but I am guessing it was the radiation. Since it is so fine and light colored only I can see it with a magnifying mirror. If you are uncomfortable with that, check with your doctor and ask if it's OK to use a hair remover.

Also, on a part of my head where I lost hair during radiation, I have more hair there now than before treatment and it grows faster. I don't pay attention to that since it is at the back of my head.

Healing from radiation is sort of slow. Most things go back to normal when you are healed, it just takes a little time.

All the best,

paula002's picture
paula002
Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 2007

Very informative. Thank you TereB.

BugHunter's picture
BugHunter
Posts: 152
Joined: Oct 2007

Hi Paula,
This sounds something like what I went through post treatment, but it was in the neck area for me. Ask your Doctor if it could be a condition called Lymphedema. Some of your Lymph glands can be damaged by the radiation and not allow the lymph fluid to drain properly. I went to a physical therapist for several weeks for massage therapy for the remaining nodes. This stimulates the lower nodes into accepting the fluid from the ones higher in the face and gets the higher ones to flow properly.
You can also find more info on this at www.lyphedemapeople.com just dont let it scare you as they make it sound much worse than I found it to be!
Hope this helps!

BILL

paula002's picture
paula002
Posts: 29
Joined: Apr 2007

I'll enquire. Thanks Bill.

cuzzy
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2007

I had a radical neck dissection 7 months ago and finished radiation four months ago...that side of my face, the lower part, is swollen...not that if you went by at 50 mph you'd notice, but I can see and feel it...it's also very tender to the touch, as if someone sucker punched me...and I have downy hair that I'd never had on my face before...but the hair on my head, blond and fine normally, has been even thinner, except where it came out during radiation and is now back thicker...what a life!!!

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