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Pain and lumps from Lymph Node Removal

Squadcar
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2014

It's only been 2 weeks and 1 day since I had a Lumpectomy and 6 Lymph Nodes removed from my left breast.  Is it normal to feel hard lumps and swelling under armpit and in breast close to armpi?.  I also have numbness which I know is normal but I even have a hard time keeping my arm down.  I have tried Ice Ice Ice and even a heating pad on low heat but don't get any relief.  My doctor told me it might be fluid but to give it some time before they do an ultrasound.  Very uncomfortable and very annoying. I guess I shouldn't complain, tumor was 0.9cm and they got clear margins and all nodes were negative.  Will be following up with radiation starting next week.

GlowMore's picture
GlowMore
Posts: 321
Joined: Feb 2008

I too had a Lumpectomy on left breast....and 19 lymph nodes were removed from under my left arm.  Honestly don't remember pain but can tell you that the numbness will never go away.  When they do the lymphectomy there are nerves under your arm that are cut.    Lucky for you no cancer in your lumph nodes  ...That is wonderful.   6 of my 19 were cancerous...which meant I had to do chemo and worry about it coming back for the rest of my life.   However since I just turned 78 last week and did not think I would live to be 70.... I feel I am way ahead of the Game.

If you are in pain try two tylenol gel caps ..extra strength....  or...call your Oncologist and let him/her know about it.     The radiation I had was for about 33 days........and then I was pretty exhausted for a long time.  Maybe you won't have to do that many .... either way........that lymph node thing can be tricky and there is a thing called lymphadema we have to watch out for....I hope this clears up for you and wish you well in the radiation treatments. 

Puffin2014's picture
Puffin2014
Posts: 161
Joined: Jun 2014

I'm 8 days post op lumpectomy with removal of 2 sentinel lymph nodes, also negative with clean margins, 10 mm. I had a post op visit with my medical oncologist this afternoon. She said to continue taking extra strenth tylenol for the pain, and told me it should be much better in a month but could take several months before the lumps are gone.

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

I had a BMX with sentinel node removal and 1 axillary node removed. Nerves were nicked during the node removal which left me in pain that I still have today 3.5 years later. I have been seeing a pain clinic for medicattions and treatments for pain.

As for your swelling and "fluid" your doctor says you have, I would get that checked out by a good Lymphedema therapist (preferably one who is certified). Removing lymph nodes can cause Lymphedema, which is a build up of fluid and tissue swelling caused by missing lymph nodes and interruption of the lymphatic system. Lymphedema can be dangerous, so I think it is very important that those of us who have nodes removed and have fluid swelling get checked out just to make sure.

In the mean time, I hope your medical team told you not to have blood pressures or needle pokes in the arm or hand you had lymph or sentinel nodes removed. And don't let anyone tell you that it's ok if they use a smaller needle (like a butterfly needle). The size of the needle is not the problem. It is the puncture and inury to the skin that can cause it. You also need to becareful of bug bites like mosquitos. Radiation can also cause/contribute to LE (lypmhedema).

Also, I would not apply heat or ice to any swelled areas until you get confirmation that you don't have LE.

Sharon G's picture
Sharon G
Posts: 6
Joined: Jun 2014

I am almost 3 months post op (which is 3 months cancer free!) and I am still numb.  I had a breast reduction back in 2007 and still had numbness years later, which was annoying, but now that it is cancer...I can live with the numbness as long as I am cancer free.

Have they sent you to a lymphodema clinic?  I think it's very important that they do as they gave me great advice on how to prevent it.  

My tumor was almost 6 cm at the beginning.  Understand that I had my prior mammogram only 1 year 5 months prior (insurance issue, otherwise I was always a 1 year to the day)  They treated me with chemo first to shrink tumor and it did to just around 3 cm, surgery second and then radiation.  I got clean margins and 3 nodes that were clean when they were removed.  I was stage 2A.  I consider myself lucky as well.

Good luck with the radiation.  Keep us posted how it goes!

 

emilyw85's picture
emilyw85
Posts: 28
Joined: Jun 2014

One of my family member found about her lump because it hurt, and after lumpectomy and lymph node surgery, she experienced numbness down right side to her waist, and down to her elbow and armpit, and her breast was swelled and red which the doctor put her on antibiotic. So I don’t know if it’s normal or not, and she going to see her doctor in couple of weeks for radiation therapy, and by the way good luck with the radiation. Hugs.

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