Swelling in armpit after radiotherapy

Hi all. I am just hoping for some reassurance on swelling and to see what others’ experience has been. I had a lumpectomy and SNB on 31st Oct and radiotherapy in early Feb, so about 4 weeks ago. I have noticed that my armpit on the treatment side is a little bit puffier. The physio who is part of my breast care team has reassured me that this is normal at this stage and not to worry too much about lymphedema. I am doing my exercises as I should but just wondering how long it may take for it to settle…and how long before I should have any concerns that it may be more than just a temporary thing. Many thanks in advance :smiling_face:

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Hi @blue80

I’ve read you post but don’t have much to offer I’m afraid though I remember that my breast was a bit oedematous for quite a few months after radiotherapy. It’s fine now. Can only suggest to do the exercises rigorously wear a really supportive bra and keep an eye on it - which is what I was told to do. However I would see if you can get an appointment to get it reassessed by your BCN if it doesn’t settle or gets worse in the next week or two though. You could also ring the radiotherapy team and see what they say.

Sorry I can’t offer anything more and hope it improves. Xx

Thanks for the message. That helps. To be honest, I think the bra might be an idea as I have barely been wearing one to stop any rubbing on my skin…but I wore one last night when out with a friend and just put a bamboo flannel inside to stop any irritation and it was fine so going to try wearing it more as think letting 'dangle ’ isn’t helping. They aren’t particularly big but enough there to feel like it’s sagging a bit. Also useful to know it was a few months for yours to settle. It has only been a month…I am a bit impatient :grin: I often panic with symptoms that they are going to last forever (was struggling with waterworks issues but that seems better now).

Yeah I was impatient as well - pulled a muscle in my side trying to push myself at Yoga after radiotherapy and fell over because I was trying to walk somewhere really quickly a couple of weeks after surgery instead of taking my time . Having said that if it’s not improved in 2 weeks I do think you should get it assessed just to be on the safe side.

The bamboo flannel is a good idea - I used bamboo socks for a while ( clean I might add !) . If you have something like a soft crop top that could be worn under a bra that might help . Mine was actually noted by the BCN 3 months post radiotherapy when I went to see her about something else - I knew it was inflamed and a bit swollen and thought that was entirely normal and it was settling down ( and did go without any intervention but slowly) . At that point I also had started wearing just a very soft crop top around the house though luckily I had my proper bra on for my appointment and she was very keen for me to keep wearing a proper supportive post - surgery bra on all the time .

Sorry about the waterworks - that type of thing is truly miserable , D Mannose works for me . I know you’re impatient but try to take things easy if you can as it it sounds like you might be a bit rundown.

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