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Question about lymph nodes after mastectomy

Posts: 87
Joined: Apr 2010

I have some swelling in my left armpit area. That's the side of the mastectomy. That was in Aug. of 2009. I've been out of chemo since Dec. of 2009. I can feel something, but I'm not sure what it is.

Has anybody had a recurrence to show up in the lymph nodes? I only had four nodes removed during the sentinel node biopsy and no cancer had spread to the nodes.

Is it probably only swelling or should I be concerned? I go to the onc. on Thurs.



New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

Sorry, recurrence under armpit could happen, however it does not mean that you have it. Please see your doctor and request ultrasound or other test. Swelling also could be a result of lymphedema as well.
Good luck on Thursday

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

It could also be lymphedema. Be sure to ask your onc on Thurs so you can have some peace of mind. Come back and let us know.



Posts: 3660
Joined: Aug 2009

Call you Dr (Chemo and/or Surgeon). There is some reason for the swelling and it needs to be found out why. It could be something very benign or something that needs to be taken care of.

Lymphedema is a possibility - the sooner you start treating the better it is. Can't 'heal' it but can help to minimize in some cases - we all aren't so lucky. Yes, you can have lymphedema on your body/back/underarm/across chest in addition to hand/arm.


Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

Good luck with your appointment today and let us know what your oncologist says.

Hugs, Jan

Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2011

During my double mastectomies I had 17 lymphnodes removed under my left armpit (a year and 1/2 ago) and I still and probably always will have a "fullness" under that arm and it still feels like a raw spot to the touch...very sensitive to the touch. Only one lymph node out of 17 was positive and so I did four rounds of Taxatere and Cyclastin. I look at things this way...Thank God when you get up in the morning..have a good day..then thank God when you go to bed at night. Don't worry about tomarrow. We have to live each day as things come. God bless you.

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2011

What was the outcome of this? I hope good. I just found this after googling. I'm going to the breast surgeon today. 4 months ago on my yearly checkup, a lymph node appeared on the ultra sound. She said that can be totally normal but since it wasn't on there last time, it doesn't hurt to check again in 4 months. December will be 5 years since my double mastectomy.

Posts: 550
Joined: Nov 2009

I have swelling under my right arm and it is pretty large, but sometimes varies-tighter sometimes.
I am glad you are seeing your doctor soon, and be sure to mention it.

For me, the tests show "soft tissue swelling" and will most likely stay there
all the time. They do test it periodically, which makes feel more secure.

Posts: 2515
Joined: May 2009

PLEASE PLEASE go to your oncologist! You asked about recurrence....My bc has come back after 2 1/2 years in my lymph nodes which were clean at the time of my lumpectomy... It may well be lymphedema...... but better safe than sorry..make the call....

Wishing you the best,
Hugs, Nancy

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Call your oncologist please!

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010

My first recurrence was a tumor in the axilla. I had a mastectomy, a lymph node dissection, chemotherapy and tamoxifen.

After 3 bad bouts of cellulitis, each a year apart, a tumor was found on a ct scan. A core biopsy was performed to indicate it was breast cancer cells.

In my day, before sentinel node biopsy, they would take a bunch of nodes at level 1 to check out for cancer. I did have cancer in some of the 27 nodes removed. The tumor which was not a node was removed along with all level 2 nodes with a second lymph node dissection along with a few nodes at level 3. I then had radiation and went on Arimidex.

I would not recommend a second lymph node dissection to anyone. Make certain your doctor orders a ct scan for you.

Best wishes,

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9085
Joined: Aug 2009

Thanks for sharing your story, SIROD ...

Prayers for all,

Vicki Sam

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