Radiation and swollen lymphs?

I’ve had 13 of 15 sessions of radiation to chest wall, supraclavical (front and back) and underarm.

After session 11, I noticed that I had some swollen lymph nodes in my neck - on the good side, actually - then started feeling all over in a panic and found more on the right, above my collar bone as well as the neck.

There was a bit of a debacle today with an ultrasound/FNA appointment and now I have to wait until Monday, but just wondering if anyone else has had similar? The doctor seemed very suspicious of them and wanted them checked out asap, but at the same time said radiation was an inflamatory treatment, and they could be due to this. However, because I had an apical node involved, I’m terrified it’s on its way up to my brain :frowning:


Hi jane

i havent a clue to be honest but do know radiotherapy has left my whole treated area and a bit beyond feeling tight, a bit sore and swollen. Just wanted to send my love to you as this sounds like another of those shitty waiting weekends. Hopefully someone whoknows more will answer soon.


i was dx with bc jan 10 had lumpectomy and nodes clearance in feb then a mx in march as it had gone into my blood vessels. i had a ct scan to see if it had spread and was told no so went ahead with mx and started chemo end of march 10.
had 4 x ec and 4x tax then 3 weeks of rads i finished end oct. i have been having bad headaches for the last week and when i inhail fully it hurts a little bit like i have a lump in my throat i went to docs thursday and sai i seemed ok just to take paracetomal, then thursday night i was just sat there and put my hand to my neck and found a small pea size lump near my clavical. weird as it was i was going to breast clnic the following morning with a friend of mine who had fond a lump in her breast. on my way to clinic i left a message with my bc nurse and explained i was going to clinic with my friend and any chance could be looked at. the consultant kindly agreed and sent me for a scan there and then, i was there for over an hour , it was a node i could feel that was swollon and my nodes in the right side of my neck (same side as my mx) looked :suspicious:
left side was normal. i went back to speak to consultant and he said they were sitting on the fence but on a scale from 1 to 5 ( 5 being it deff was cancer) they were looking at a 3!!! ive just done nothing but cry i cant belive after my ct was clear that i went through all that treatment and now 4 month later its backi already!!! all i can do now is think of my family and that my days may be numbered i have to wait till next friday for results, i need answers and what iffs and if it is what will happen next, my gut feeling was initially it had gone to my brain cos of my headaches but now i think maybe my lungs, im just in shock at moment and have noone to talk to
kaz xx

Hi Kaz

I understand that this is such a worrying time for you, I’m sure others will be along very soon to offer support and advice.

In the meantime, as you say you’ve no one to talk to, you might like to consider giving our Helpine a call? They’re great listeners and can offer support and information as well as directing you to other sources of help.

The number is 0808 800 6000 and they’re open 9-2 today, then 9-5 on Weekdays.

Hope this is of some help.

Best wishes.


Jane I’m keeping everything crossed that the nodes are just reactive to the rads or a viral infection +nothing more sinister. What a nitemare having all weekend to worry :frowning: keep strong + positive, lots of love x

kaz also hoping your fears are unfounded. Keep us posted. Good luck x

Oh Kaz, sorry to hear you’re playing the waiting game too.

I’m reassuring myself that nodes up all the time for one reason or another - over the past 6yrs since my initial diagnosis, I’ve had swollen nodes checked out lots of times, and only once did they turn out to be cancerous. I even had a huge swollen one left over after surgery which the sonographer was sure looked malignant, but turned out to be healthily reactive. So sitting on the fence just means the oncs don’t know - they can’t reassure us all is well until they know.

Keeping everything crossed for us both. Even if mine are cancerous I’m totally determined they won’t beat me.

Tina, thanks for the support. This creeping node business really sucks!

xx Jane

jane , thanks its so nice to talk to someone who knows how i feel right now, when u said one of your nodes were cancerous what do u mean and what did they do??? i thought it means it has gone somewere else ?
kaz xx

hope i haven’t worried you kaz. just meant that me cancer spread to the nodes under my arm 5yrs after diagnosis. had biopsy then axillary clearance. but before this, iwent to get nodes checked a few times, always ok.

if it’s in the nodes it doesn’t mean its anywhere else necessarily, just that it’s more likely to be because it’s found a way to travel. however, if it comes back above the collar bone it’s considered to be secondary cancer as it’s usually inoperable. but there are ways to treat it - radiation can zap the cancer cells completely.

hopr that’s clear - typing with one hand as have babe in arms! xx

vickie, thanks for checking on my post and for sympathy xx

Hi Jane!

Sarah here. What an awful, anxious time you are having. From what you say, it does seem more likely that the swelling is caused by a reaction to rads, especially if they have reacted that way before. They are little bu**ers aren’t they? I know from my own exp. after rads, as I have had the same areas done, that even now, almost 6 months after having them , it still feels tender and lymphodema-ish in that area. And my right boob has shrink to at least 2 cup sizes less than the left with all the stuff done to it and the nipple is about 2 inches higher! Oh the joys of it all!

Hope it all turns out OK. Keep us informed,

Love, Sarahx

Sarah, and everyone, thanks for your support.

i am feeling VERY lucky - the ultrasound showed normal looking lymphs. I’m to keep a eye on them and see if they grow or disappear.

Finished rads today. Thank god for that!

Feeling very odd - in between elation and fear of what if.

Great news jane :slight_smile: Been thinkin about u. Congrats on getting thru the rads too!
Tina xx

Fanbloodytastic jane, dead pleased for you, and well done finishing your treatment, it seems a long time ago that you started treatment when pregnant. Really well done . Xxx

really pleased for u jane thats great news lets hope its the same for me on friday as muy ultrsound showed them as suspicous im bricking it :frowning:

Hi Jane!

So pleased all is normal from scan. It’s a lovely feeling when everything is finished! All the best to you and if I can help you with anything re:post rads etc,let me know.

Good luck to Kaz too for Friday. PS - like your hair colour!

Love, Sarahxx

thanks sarah but hairwas just before it fell out :frowning: it was shoulder length and blonde before that lol now its short and brown but i hate it thats why its not an up to date pic that was taken 12 months ago :frowning:
kaz xx

Hi Kaz!

I am also sporting a v.short brown “look”! I’ve had a couple of cuts since it grew back after chemo. last summer and it keeps getting darker - now a sort of muddy colour! - but, on the positive, a lot less grey than it was when it first grew in last Autumn. A couple of greys, though, after all, I am an oldie of 43! Must summon up energy - not easy with femara SEs kicking in! - to embrace the dye bottle!

Let us know how you get on with the scan,
Love, Sarahx

Jane So very very pleased for you. Love Jackie xx

Kaz will be thinking of you tomorrow all bits crossed

rhian xx