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How long?

meaganb's picture
meaganb
Posts: 226
Joined: May 2012

So I realize the answer will be different for everyone but I am curious how long I should expect to have swelling/inflammation from radiation. I actually went to see a friend of mine who is a physical therapist last week because I felt like the swelling had gotten worse and I was concerned about lymph not draining correctly( I had 47 lymph nodes removed from the right side of my neck. When he examined me he said he felt like it was residual inflammation from the Rads( I'm about2 months out from my last treatment). It feels like the inflammation has gotten worse recently, not better. Also, my oncologist scheduled a post treatment CT for the 31st of this month. At that point I'll only be about 11 weeks out from my last treatment. I'm afraid the Something is going to show up on the scan just because I'm not that far out from treatment...is it normal to have one so soon after treatment?

Mikemetz's picture
Mikemetz
Posts: 338
Joined: Nov 2011

Don't be surprised or worried if your first CT scan after rads comes up positive. There are residual "hot spots" that can trigger false positives on scans for several months after treatments end.

Mike

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8062
Joined: Sep 2009

Lymphedema is very common among us that have radiation...

Below is a link to a discussion on massage therapy that might help you.

Massage Therapy

As for the inflammation and swelling being a few months...that migh be a bit optimistic from you MD. I'd consider the possibility of several months or even close to a year off and on.

A lot of us get what we refer to as "Turkey Neck"..., the Turkey Neck Club, actually.

It usually starts a month or so post Tx and can last for several months like I said.

The massage can definitely help. I've also heard of masks that you wear at night to help too.

Over time the lymphatic system will repair itself and most of the fluid will find new paths for draining and minimalize the swelling.

That link above was from the SuperThread, which has tons of useful information.

SuperThread

Best,
John

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2907
Joined: May 2012

Hi meaganb,

At my 3 month visit my rad onc noticed the thick neck and recommended me for massage therapy. I just finished 4 weeks and there is definitely a noticeable difference in the swelling. It is explained pretty clearly in the Superthread. When I first was finished with rads my neck was smooth and skinny. So, I guess it is the gift that (as they say) keeps giving.

Read the superthread, get a neck massage, relax and enjoy the new you.

Best,

Matt

CivilMatt's picture
CivilMatt
Posts: 2907
Joined: May 2012

Hi meaganb,

At my 3 month visit my rad onc noticed the thick neck and recommended me for massage therapy. I just finished 4 weeks and there is definitely a noticeable difference in the swelling. It is explained pretty clearly in the Superthread. When I first was finished with rads my neck was smooth and skinny. So, I guess it is the gift that (as they say) keeps giving.

Read the superthread, get a neck massage, relax and enjoy the new you.

Best,

Matt

katenorwood
Posts: 1818
Joined: May 2012

meagab,
Hey there girl ! First off I don't remember if I told you congrads on finishing rads ! Way to go. I also had a worry on a scan they did 2 mo's out of rads. And yeap they found a huge mass. But my onc. said they'd do another a month later. And it was just from rads. So I'm sure yours will be the same. And please yes, if you haven't yet ask about PT on that neck ! They might of sent info on this with you...but if not ask. I know I'm being watched closer because I couldn't finish rads, and have perniueral invasion. I'm praying all goes wonderful for you Meagan ! You are a trooper ! Warmest regards, Katie

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3672
Joined: Mar 2012

give us our follow up scans approixmately 3 months after radiation ends...or some people use the words after "treatment ends"...so I was confused as which it is...all treatment, or radiation treatment. I asked my ENT when I saw him two weeks ago....he's planning on doing it 3 months after ALL treatment ends....which means my follow up PET will be at the end of November. Originally he had said the end of September, which (like you) made me nervous cuz of a possible false positive. I mean, I'd rather have it later than sooner, if it was going to mean the difference between surgery and no surgery.

p

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8062
Joined: Sep 2009

Rads would be the main source of damage that might show up as residual on the scans. Unless you were having some sever issues with chemo that might cause you inflammation and have your throat tore up.

JG

Sam999
Posts: 305
Joined: Mar 2012

Megan,

I am about 7 weeks out of treatment and my surgery side cheeck and neck has little bit of swellling, doc said it will take few months it to clear up. I has asked her if massage would help and she said something about tissues and nerves generation which will take its time no matter what we do.

I do not have turkey neck, mine is pure swelling. It kinda feels numb when i touch it.

Sam

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