Skip Navigation

Hand swelling

Hi, I'm Jewell

I had a lumpectomy back in July. Recently my right hand seems swollen and tight every morning when I wake up and it’s hard to close my fingers. It seems to go away during the day though.
Is this a normal side effect of lymph node removal or possibly Letrozol?

  • Post #1
  • Mon May 13, 2019
Hi, I'm Betti

I had your symptoms a few years ago but hadn’t had a lymph node dissection on the right side, by far the worst of the 2. When it really got bothering me at night I self diagnosed myself with carpal tunnel issues and bought a special splint to wear at night. After a few months I had numbness in the thumb, index, and middle fingers. I went to my clinic and had nerve conduction studies that confirmed carpal tunnel problems. Since my right had was the worst both for me and on testing I elected to have surgery and not a steroid shot. What a difference. About 3 months after surgery all numbness was now gone but the left one started acting the same way. I elected to try a steroid shot first, relieved some of my symptoms but not all so had surgery on it as well (9 months after the other one). BTW—I too was on Letrozole at the time but never thought to ask if it was it causing my problems.

  • Post #2
  • Mon May 13, 2019
Hi, I'm Plucker1

I had lymph nodes removed under my right arm, in November. It took several months to get back to normal. I still have some swelling under my armpit when I use it heavily. I think it’s all part of the healing process.

  • Post #3
  • Tue May 14, 2019
Hi, I'm Delores A S.

It’s possible you’re having Lymphedema symptoms & should speak to your care team about your symptoms. My local Community Cancer Care Center provides an educational program on that so you’re aware of symptoms to look for. Good luck’

  • Post #4
  • Wed May 15, 2019
Hi, I'm LeAnn

Have your doctor refer you to a Lymphedema Clinic, they can give you therapy and exercises. I went yesterday and already feel the difference!

  • Post #5
  • Wed May 15, 2019
Hi, I'm Violet P H.

I had a Lymph removed from under my right arm. No swelling in my arm, but my right breast was very achey for a few days or so. I contribute that to the aerobic exercise with arms lift, and jumping jacks. Has anyone else had this problem?

  • Post #6
  • Sat May 25, 2019
I'm Barb DeGraaf, and I'm a survivor of Breast Cancer

I had a lumpectomy back in April of 2018 with 4 lymph nodes removed. Then radiation. I have some scar tissue and my breast can become very sore. It does come and go. Good news is, some days I hardly notice it at all! Good luck.

  • Post #7
  • Mon Jun 3, 2019
Hi, I'm Rosa

Did you get chemo or just radiation ^ , I just had lumpectomy in April and May margins still had to be cleaned now everything came back clean, 2 different surgeries last one was 2 weeks ago now I’m waiting on a test result to see if I need chemo.

  • Post #8
  • Sat Jun 8, 2019
Hi, I'm Ruth A P.

Post #8 I had the same thing happened to me. Lumpectomy Dec 2017, had positive margins so another surgery in January 2018 to get clear margins. My dr did the Oncotype DX test to determine if I needed chemo. Results were 20% recurrence without chemo, 8% recurrence with chemo. So I did the chemo-16 treatments in 20 weeks, fatigue was my worst problem. 18 Radiation treatments after that. My bc was Stage 1 invasive ductual carcinoma with DCIS, lymph nodes were clear. Am now on Anastrozole for 5-10 years to reduce my estrogen because my cancer was ER positive. Was 59 when I was diagnosed and now am 60. My doctors were very informative. I am now trying to build my strength and endurance back up. Hot and humid days just do me in somewhat now, when I was in the middle of my treatments I found I could not tolerate the heat or humidity(live in the Midwest) If I went out it was after 4 pm when the sun had lost a lot of its heat. Good luck with your treatments Ruth

  • Post #9
  • Sun Jun 9, 2019
Hi, I'm Kristi Q.

Hi, I’m 48 and was dx’d IDC ER/PR+ stage 1A Sept 2018. I have the same thing…hand swelling in the morning which eventually goes away in the day and accompanied by intermittent numbness in the first 3 fingers. Also starting to have trigger finger, which runs in my family. I only had 1 lymph node dissected and have hx of carpel tunnel prior to BC dx.

AIs are notorious for worsening muscular skeletal issues pre-BC. It sounds like that’s what is happening to both of us. While my oncologist did say the release surgery would bring relief, I’m going to try other options first (CBD oil, specific exercises, etc.). I really don’t want another surgery, but want to stay on my AI for the prescribed length to combat recurrence. I’m only 5 mos into five-year course. Ugh…hoping this side effect doesn’t become too impactful, as I’m finding myself increasingly using my other hand instead.

  • Post #10
  • Tue Jun 18, 2019

Add to Discussion

Sign in or Join (free) to add to this discussion. Add to this discussion