Breast cellulitis and Lymphodoema

Had lumpectomy and WLE in July 09. Post-op infection led to mild breast cellulitis and several courses of anti-biotics. After chemo I had a severe febrile bout of cellulitis in my arm following an infectiontion on one of my nail beds (oh, the joys of taxotoere!)
This slowly receded after more antibiotics and though my onc would not actually say that I had lymphodoema, he referred me to the lypho. clinic at the local hospice after I finishes rads. The appointment took 2 months to come thro by which time all the swelling and discolouration had gone and I felt a bit of a fraud.
However the Lympho sister was very thorough & professional( she actually restored my faith in the nursing profession which had taken quite a hit after the attitude of the chemo nurses at my local hospital!) She measured me, told me all about lympho , gave me exercises and told me how to do MLD. She also said I might need a sleeve and would definilty need to take high dose antibiotics with me when I visit my son in Kenya this August. But- she would not actually say that I had lymphodoema- only that my lymph. system had been seriously compromised and I was at high risk. I am to see her again in June.

Since then I have been fine except for the on-going strange feeling in my axilla-bulky and uncomfortable which I have had since the surgery. Do other people have this and will it always be like it?

A few days ago my breast became slightly pink, swollen, warmish and uncomfortable.

I am dithering as to whether to go to my GP for antibiotics or maybe it will clear up on its own as it seems mild? I still don’t know if I have lymphodoema or not - can one have breast cellulitis without it? It seems an elementary question but I don’t seem to be able to get a straight answer.

I know there are people on this forum with a lot more knowledge on the subject than most doctors- so can anyone help me please?

hi topsymo,

i’m no expert but i have been diagnosed with lymphoedema in my arm and what you describe - ‘A few days ago my breast became slightly pink, swollen, warmish and uncomfortable.’ is exactly what i was told to watch out for and go to the dr for antibiotics.

i think it is better to be safe than sorry. don’t know what your gp is like but mine has always told me to come in with anything, he is happy to put my mind at ease if it is nothing or take appropriate action. hope it gets sorted,

lenny