Pain and breast lymphoedema

Hi All,

I have breast lymphoedema following left side WLE, SLNR and radiotherapy last year. I have had good support from the Lymphoedema Clinic and swelling has reduced (but not disappeared) with daily manual lymphatic drainage.  I have also had pain off and on in and around the breast.   Over the last 1-2 weeks I have been developing a pain in my ribs, below my breast. Although I initially put this down to normal post BC pain, it has now got significantly worse and I am having to take paracetamol to help manage it. It is particularly uncomfortable under the band of my bra. The pain and tenderness has now moved into my abdomen and there seems to be some swelling there.  

I wonder if anyone else has had similar with breast lymphoedema? I am going to try and get an appointment with my GP tomorrow morning as I am worried about the cancer coming back.  I have looked on the internet to see if breast lymphoedema can move down the trunk but there is no information I can find so any information that might reassure me would be welcome-  I’m starting to feel quite anxious.



OK, now…I had something very odd happen which is possible, just possible, you could be experiencing too. Mine started right under the breast I had my surgery on, and was also doing manual lymphatic drainage on at the time. I had full breast lymphodaema that took a very long time to resolve, a couple of years actually. My pain started right on and running downwards from the band of the bra, it hurt to press initially and then became very painful even when I moved. I then developed a ‘Mondor’s cord’ that ran vertically below the breast and down my torso/abdomen. It started out painful as you mention and a bit puffy, then a ‘rope like’ band formed vertically. Mine was definitely started by the tightness of the bra band and the amount of fluid retained in the breast that had had surgery - so creating pressure on the area where the cord started. Mine wasn’t on the level of ‘swollen’ though, just painful and raised with this Mondor’s cord. (images easily found with a google search).

It could be that I’ve typed all of that and nothing about it rings a bell for you ;). I will warn you that it was quite a rare thing to happen, so even my surgeon was surprised and not sure what a GP would make of it - probably refer you. Of course for anything unexplained you should definitely get checked, but don’t panic there can be some strange occurrences that appear when the body balance in that area is out of kilter, as my story shows. Do let me know how you get on at your appointment, I could be entirely wrong of course but please please don’t panic !

Hi Rannie

i had my left breast removed 5 weeks ago. Noticed my left side is swollen. Had what is left drained 4 times so far. My upper stomach is about twice the size of right. Feeling it tonight I can feel lots of hard lumps. Not sure what they are but I am going to see doc tomorrow to get some reassurance that it’s normal. How did you get on.