Breast cancer

Affected by breast cancer? Join this group to share experiences and ask questions to people who understand what you're going through.

Radiotherapy or surgery for lymph nodes?

Posted by

Hi again everyone, 

Sorry to keep asking questions and fretting but I've been given the choice if either.  I had 2 sentinel  nodes removed, one clear and one basically full during my mastectomy. It looked less they were all clear,  and the one which tested positive was twice the size of the others. 

I'm looking at risk/ side effects of both,  and can have either in a couple of weeks once I've had an MRI on my liver to confirm what the radiologist confirmed in my ct scan as a little cluster  of veins is one. Both methods are equally effective apparently. I'm speaking to the radiologist next week for more info,  he's usually based at a larger London hospital where I'd go to get his opinion as it's usually done with lumpectomy not mastectomy. I'm basically trying to minimise the risk of lymphodema.l without adding to many pret complications!

To those of you who've had either done,  how had it been as far as pain,  movement,  recovery, healing etc.?

Thanks again. It's such a good forum for support- and information:)

Posted by

Hi Londonmumof2,  I had a lumpectomy and axillary node clearance.   5 of the 15 nodes taken were positive.  For me the surgery was not too bad in terms of pain and recovery.  I took regular painkillers to keep on top of the pain, but to be honest it wasn't too bad.  I saw a physio before I went home and she advised me about post op care of my arm and gave me some excercises to do.  I then attended a lymphoedema prevention session a couple of weeks later.  I made sure that I followed all the advice and excercises, but I was fortunate not to have developed cording or a seroma.  

I had my op in August and now, following chemo and radiotherapy, my surgery seems like a lifetime ago with no adverse effects.  I make sure that I massage my arm most evenings to help with lymph drainage and I'm careful when gardening etc, but other than that, my left arm is no different now than my right.

I had radiotherapy to the whole area and being very fair skinned, was told I would burn.  I slapped on Aveeno as often as I could and although I had some redness, itching and dryness, it went after a few weeks and now is fully healed.

Hopefully someone else will be along with their experiences, but hope this helps.

Gail xx

Posted by

Thanks Gail,  its helpful to hear the support and information they gave you, and that you haven't had any issues.  I've just read your sorry- and what a time you have had! I'm so happy that things are looking  up again for you after successful treatment:) xx