My wife developed stage 1 breast cancer and had a mastectomy 5 months ago during which the doctors determined that there was no lymph node involvement so they only removed the 3 sentinel nodes. She's been through 4 FAC treatments (3 months) and 4 Taxol treatments (4 weeks). On her last visit we were able to see the oncologist, who noticed a swollen lymph node under her arm on the same side as the mastectomy. The doctor said it probably wasn't anything to worry about but ordered an ultrasound just to make sure. Unfortunately, the next appointment won't be available for 4 weeks, so we have a long wait.
Our question is: Is this a possible/common side-effect of chemo and Taxol in particular? What are the possibilities? Should we be worried? Is there anything we can do in the meantime?
Thank you for any help.
Dear mjaxon, There are many reasons that a lymphnode under the arm can be swollen, particularly after mastectomy. Possibilities could include infection, reaction from the mastectomy etc. A swollen lymphnode is not a direct common side effect of chemotherapy. Without further evaluation including physical examination it is impossible to say for sure what this is. There is nothing in particular you can do as you are waiting for the ultrasound except if you notice any signs of infection (redness, drainage, fever), or other problems let your doctor know.
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