Docetaxel and swollen ankles

It’s been four weeks since my last cycle of docetaxel, and my feet and ankles are still swollen. My chemo unit tells me it’s a common side effect and “there’s no need” to do anything about it because the oedema will “eventually disappear on its own”. But it’s both uncomfortable (very difficult to get into my shoes) and unsightly - what advice have other people here had? And how long did it take untilt the oedema disappeared?

Hi Marie Else,

Sorry to hear about your symptoms and that you have yet to receive a response. 

In the meantime you can always post on our Ask the Nurse board or call our helpline on 0808 800 6000, who will be able to talk you through any questions you have and offer a friendly ear. The opening hours are below:

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Best wishes, 


Marie Else,
I too had swollen ankles for weeks, I didn’t know it was a side effect, thanks for that.
I’m please to say though that over this last week or so I have ankles ? I can actually see the shape of them again. I had my last chemo at the end of February, but when I saw my consultant on Monday he said that the radiotherapy can prolong the effects of chemo, due to the body coping with the new treatments.
The swelling will reduce, keep your feet elevated when resting but it is important to keep mobile too. I also found massaging my feet helped, which I had to do because of the dry skin.
Hope you start to feel better soon. Xx

I finished chemo end of February and my left leg started to swell. Tests were undertaken which ruled out a DVT . Both legs became swollen and I had difficulty walking, getting in and out of bed and having a bath. My husband had ti help me put my socks on as I could not reach my feet.


I was also told it was water retention and it would go on its own. But the legs became painful and i saw the lymphoedama nurse who gave me some pressure stockings - which hubby had to help me put on! I was also prescribed  Furisomide [sorry cant spell!] taken once a day. A couple of weeks ago, when on my third prescription,  the tablets were doubled and at last the swelling started to decrease. My ankles to thighs measured the same. Now I have kneecaps, ankle bones and over the last couple of days I can feel my shin bones.


It is 4 am and I am wide awake cos my ankles and feet feel as if they are encased in a metal sock . i cannot “rock” my feet. Eventually the stiffness will subside and I hope to get comfortable enough to sleep.

Like you I thought it would never change but after nearly four months my legs are improving. Walking and puttiing my body weight on my legs helps a little. Its unpleasant to have it for so long but at least it is going. Good luck