Armpit discomfort, including pain, swelling, and a feeling of fullness or numbness, can happen after the following surgeries to treat breast cancer:
lymph node removal
Some of the nerves in your armpit may be cut during surgery, which can cause numbness. If your surgeon had to move around some of the tissue under the surface of your skin, the area may feel tender and swollen.
Your armpit skin is close to your breast, so during radiation your armpit may get irritated and sore while you're being treated. In addition to the radiation, your arm rubbing back and forth on the skin, along with the sweat and hair that's there can make the area more irritated than your breast.
Managing armpit discomfort
Use cornstarch instead of deodorant or antiperspirant to reduce friction of your arm rubbing on the skin. For easy application, put some cornstarch into a thin sock or knee-high and tie a knot at the top. Tap the sock gently against your skin.
Avoid strong soaps, antip...
What do underarm lymph nodes do? Why do they swell up? And how do you know if the swelling is simply an infection – or might be cancer?
You're taking a shower, soaping up. And suddenly, underneath your arm, your fingers detect a painful, tender lump – one that wasn't there yesterday. Your mind starts to race: "Do I need to worry about this? Could it be an infected lymph node, even though I haven't felt sick? Could it be… cancer?"
What is the lymphatic system?
Your body's lymphatic system, made up of a series of small vessels, carries a clear liquid – lymph – from your body tissues to the heart. In the heart, lymph joins blood and is pumped via arteries back to the tissues. This efficient system helps drain excess liquid from tissues, and transports infection-fighting white blood cells to where they're needed.
What are lymph nodes?
Scattered along these small lymphatic vessels are up to 700 lymph nodes. These small (think...
Q. What with all the side effects I had during chemotherapy, I really wasn’t in the mood for sex very often. And now that I’m done with chemo, I’m finding I’m still not in the mood… and even when I am, it’s painful! What’s going on? A. Well, for once those powerful chemo drugs aren’t the primary cause of these new aggravating side effects: loss of sexual desire, and painful intercourse. Instead, the villain is your body’s lack of hormone production, brought on by menopause, brought on by, yes, those chemo drugs. Most pre-menopausal women go into what’s called chemical menopause or instant menopause during chemotherapy. And if you were going through menopause when you started chemo, the drugs will only increase your symptoms. This chemically induced menopause, unlike the long, gradual process most women go through naturally, is intense. The drugs immediately diminish your ovaries’ and adrenal glands’ production of es...
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