I think I have breast lymphodema!

I think I have breast lymphodema!

I think I have breast lymphodema! Hi again everyone,

Finished all my treatments end of September 2006. Had WLE, Chemo and Rads.
While I have coped incredibly well with all the treatments. I now have a constant discomfort in my breast which makes me take my bra off at every available opportunity.
My breast is like a memory foam mattress and holds the shape of my bra. It feels lumpy which seems to subside when I have been to sleep. I have a constant ache in my shoulder blade and find myself rubbing under my upper arm to try and ease the discomfort.
Has anyone else out there had this? Is there anything I can do to help it. I have bought new bras in two cup sizes bigger with no wires but still want to take them off.
I have a check up next week with my Onc but don’t know if they can do anything about this problem.
Your wisdom is greatly appreciated.

Wow Jugsy,

You could be me/I could be you –LOL

Finished my treatments end of Jan ’07, which I coped with very well (was extremely lucky)¦.BUT…

Since the middle of April I have had the same symptoms as you, my breast holds the shape of my bra, even the pattern on it!! Sometimes it’s rock hard and much larger than the other breast. It gets very sore underneath and at the bottom of my scar under the armpit.

I had a CT scan in April and it showed fluid in the breast but my Onc wasn’t concerned and said it was either Lymphodema or an infection. I had antibiotics for 7days and it does seem better but still not right.

Like you I take my bra off at every opportunity, I haven’t even managed to venture back into underwired bras yet as it’s so painful some days.

I have a mammo booked for 12th June, so I’m hoping it might get sorted out after that.

My BCN did say that if it gets worse they could do an Ultrasound aspiration.

No answers there for you I’m afraid but just wanted to let you know your not alone.


Yes, I have it, too.

Don’t want to dampen your spirits because every case is different, but mine has been treated for six months now, with only minimal improvement. I have had a series of MLD treatments at the hospital as well as Bowen Therapy. I also massage the swollen area myself on a daily basis.

My breast surgeon has recently told me it will probably remain like this now, but that I should continue with my own MLD exercises to minimise the condition.

No one has ever mentioned an ultrasound aspiration. Surely if the problem is there, this will only be a temporary solution?

Sorry to be rather negative, but you did want to know!


Thanks for your reply Clare.
I have hoped that my other lymph glands would kick in and sort the problem out. Sort of ‘body heal thyself’ theorie. I will mention it on my visit to the hospital on Tuesday. I tend to dash in and dash out saying everything is fine. I have learned more about my illness from this website than from the hospital.
I will let you know how I get on.


Excuse me, I replied too!

Sorry didn’t mean to be rude. I was going to answer each individually and when I posted my first answer it wasn’t were I expected it to be.
All info greatly appreciated.
I am pleased to report I am feeling a little better. I think I may have been under the weather which may trigger the ache in my arm and breast. I had been over doing it a little.
I have been out with friends two of who have had b.c. and both have the memory foam boob after taking there bra’s off. This must be a side effect of radiotherapy.
I am enjoying the bank holiday in spite of the weather.
And thanks to everyone on this site for just being there you are all truly wonderful.

My boob is exactly the same…Holds the shape of my bra, very lumpy and sometimes hard sometimes not so bad…Saw the Onc he said it’s just something that I have to live with… BC nurse has offered me a breast pad to put in my bra, but havent received it yet… had my first mammy on 30th April and everything is ok…big sigh of relief…



Saw my Onc yesterday. She said that it can start to improve after a while, but the breast will always feel different because of the radiation.
Didn’t want to make a fuss as there was a young woman of 28 years being seen before me. She had reoccurance and was on a second lot of treatment. Mine sort of faded in to insignificance after that.
I will just soldier on and hope for the best.

Thanks for all your replies. It is nice to have someone to listen when you are feeling a little low.

Take Care,


Now I have a frozen shoulder!!! What joy - one year on from all treatment finishing my arm (the one that had the nodes removed) is going stiffer by the day and quite painful.

I went to see my GP and she felt under it etc and said “Not to worry it’s “just” a frozen shoulder -you need physio”!

She said it can follow invasive surgery to an arm - so now something else to cope with . Anhone else had this or pain/stiffness in the affeced arm (i did not have a mastectomy - I had a lumpectpmy)

Love to all


Jugsy - (((HUGS)))

Your pain and discomfort is just as important as the next person…never feel that your ‘troubles’ are insignificant.


Hi Alise,

I have had a frozen shoulder about five years ago. Well before I had breast cancer. It is quite common although more common after our treatments.
I paid to see a physiotherapist as I needed to keep working with it. I had ultra sound on it and she gave me massage and exercises (yes those again) If you look at yourself in the mirror you will see that you are holding the shoulder slightly down and forward.
I remember standing with my back flat against the wall and trying to push the shoulder back to reach the wall. Very painfull at first but it does go away with treatment.
Sorry you are feeling fed up with it as I know it is very painfull.
Hope you get some treatment for it soon as the sooner you start the sooner it will go.
Lots of Hugs