Undergone breast cancer surgery, had chemo and radiation. Hand is swollen and painful with cough. Advise?
hi doctor, My mother is 54 years old, and she has undergone a breast cancer surgery. She has undergone chemo & radiation too. The right breast has been removed nine years back. Now her right hand is swollen and it really weighs heavy, She is having severe cough and the hand is aching too. Kindly give your advise on what has to be done
Hi, Swelling of hand is due to lymphedema. You can use elastic stockings for this. Severe cough may be due to some respiratory infection but possibility of radiation pneumonitis is there . Consult your oncologist.
Sorry to hear about your mother's problem. The symptoms you have described are typical of lymphedema of the arm, which is a long term complication following mastectomy. As the lymph nodes under the arm are removed during surgery, the lymph (fluid) from the arm keeps on accumulating in the arm leading to its swelling. She should visit her oncologist and first rule out a recurrence of the tumor and secondly get lymphedema stockings for the arm. They will help in keeping the swelling under control.
Hoping for the best. Please feel free to clarify any other query.
Rohan Khandelwal Breast Oncosurgeon www.docrohan.wordpress.com
Sorry to hear about your mother's condition. She is suffering from lymphedema of the arm, which is a common long term complications following breast cancer surgery. This leads to swelling of the arm. If it gets infected, it can lead to intense pain, swelling and fever. This condition requires antibiotics and limb elevation. You should consult your doctor immediately. To prevent problems in the future, she should wear a stocking which helps in keeping the edema under control and avoid any cuts, abrasions on that side.
Hoping for the best.
Rohan Khandelwal breast Surgeon
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