Arm lymphoedema following neck treatment

  • 4 replies
  • 31 subscribers

Me again, with another lymphoedema query. My husband has neck lymphoedema following treatment with chemo and radiotherapy. Getting advice and some treatment for that,but has also noticed he has very achy shoulders and upper arms which also appears to be lymphoedema related. The lymphoedema nurse said it would be very unusual for neck nodes to cause these symptoms. Anyone else had? He is a keen cyclist and this is really getting him down as it will really affect his cycling ability going forward, never mind returning to work. 

  • Hi. I’ve never heard of this so perhaps you should mention it at his next review. 
    Did your husband have a neck dissection? 


    Base of tongue cancer. T2N0M0 6 weeks Radiotherapy finished January 2019

    I wrote a blog about my cancer. just click on the link below 

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

    Community Champion badge
  • Hi Dani. No, just tonsillectomy, chemo and radiotherapy. He had spread to neck lymph node prior to diagnosis. Awaiting follow up PET scan. He's 10 weeks post treatment. 

  • Hi Birdwoman

    I had a very achy back and upper arms for a while after each of my surgeries and radiotherapy. This seemed to be related to muscle weakness after the long ops and my recuperation time. When I did things like hang out the washing or any physical activity my muscles would start to ache. It may just be a case of your husband over time building up his muscle strength again. It's always a good idea to ask your medical team about any of these concerns though to rule out anything else.



  • Thanks Lyn. We are asking medical/nursing teams,  it does seem though that knowledge of lymphoedema is not as good as other areas, and opinions vary, so it's quite tricky. Fingers crossed ...