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IBC and Lymph Node Swelling
My sister has Inflammatory Breast Cancer, which was misdiagnosed (with a biopsy) for 8 months, and the cancer actually ate a giant hole in her breast tissue / skin, which was an open wound about the size of a softball (we have photos if needed).  She was correctly diagnosed in February, and just finished the first series of chemo treatments; another series is about to begin in 3-week intervals, with Taxene? or something like that.  Now, she's noticed a painful lump under her armpit, toward the back, which is quite swollen.  The doctor said it was a lymph node that was dying.  Did she hear him right?  Does that mean the cancer was in the lymph node?  Or is it a reaction to the chemo, where the lymph node just couldn't fight the chemicals anymore?  Thanks in advance for any guidance.  I'm perplexed, and concerned.
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Avatar universal
Hi there.

I understand your concern.  From what you have described there can be two possibilities.  First, considering the size of the primary lesion, it is not impossible that that lymph node was already there during the start of treatment, and that swelling is really a sign of it responding to the chemotherapy.  

On the other hand, it may also signify a new lesion, or a new spread of the tumor to the lymph nodes, in which case, there could be an emerging resistance from the chemo.

I suggest you discuss this at length with your oncologist as this may require very close follow up and cooperation.  Successful treatment of cancer really requires a good physician-patient relationship.

I hope she goes on with her treatment as uneventfully as possible.  God bless, be strong...
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Thank you for your quick response; I really appreciate it.  I understand what you're saying, and appreciate that as well.  I'm so very grateful for sites like this; keep up the good work.  You really are having a great influence on people's lives, and the quality of life they have.  God bless you, too.
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492898 tn?1222247198
I was diagnosed in june 07 with IBC. Within a period of two weeks, a tumor the size of 10cmx 9-cm had emerged in  my right breast and it involved all four quadrants. No lymph nodes were palpable, and none seen on an MRI that I had two weeks prior surgery.
During surgery came the surprise when it turned out that I believe 19 lymph nodes were cancerous, some of them had died and grown back and spread into the fatty tissue surrounding the nodes, and some were stuck together and stuck to the nerves, etc. I had told my surgeon that I felt the cancer growing back three weeks after finishing the last chemo and I had been concerned that I still had three more weeks to go until surgery, and which I felt should have been scheduled sooner.

I am only finished with treatment a few months, and have been having severe bone pain in my left arm on and off, (the mastectomy was on the right side), then in the shoulder, becoming worse and more constant, and last week from out of the blue the same thing crawled into my right leg. It is extremely painful and I cannot walk right, and limp, and my knee and behind the knee, but pretty much all of the leg. Dull, deep, constant pain. Could this be Bone metastasis?
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