Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

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Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by johnsat on Thu Feb 11, 2010 07:16 PM

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I have melanoma in lymph nodes under my right arm (1.7 in. diameter), and my oncologist recomments lymph node dissection (removing all of them at that location). I am concerned about the possible side effects--pain, swelling, etc. I assume that the cancer has metastacized, and wonder if I'll just be making my remaining life more difficult. Does anyone have experience or data about the probability of debilitating side effects?

RE: Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by Narnie on Fri Feb 12, 2010 08:47 PM

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If possible, get an appointment at M D Anderson in Houston.  Their melanoma dept. does not do surgery but tries to shrink the tumors with bio-chemotherapy.  My sister went there with melanoma in lymph nodes under her arms and also a huge one in her groin.

She was given bio-chemo which is three chemo drugs plus Interlukin 2 and Interferon.  She took six treatments, the last one being in May of 2007.  It worked and she is healthy today.  She goes back to Houston every four months for scans and check-ups.

She owes her life the the melanoma doctor at MDA.

Carolyn in TN

RE: Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by johnsat on Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:36 PM

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On Feb 12, 2010 8:47 PM Narnie wrote:

If possible, get an appointment at M D Anderson in Houston.  Their melanoma dept. does not do surgery but tries to shrink the tumors with bio-chemotherapy.  My sister went there with melanoma in lymph nodes under her arms and also a huge one in her groin.

She was given bio-chemo which is three chemo drugs plus Interlukin 2 and Interferon.  She took six treatments, the last one being in May of 2007.  It worked and she is healthy today.  She goes back to Houston every four months for scans and check-ups.

She owes her life the the melanoma doctor at MDA.

Carolyn in TN

Thank you for the information--I've heard of Anderson. What were the side effects of her treatment? I've heard that they're pretty awful.

RE: Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by VINEYARD on Thu Feb 18, 2010 09:20 PM

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On Feb 11, 2010 7:16 PM johnsat wrote:

I have melanoma in lymph nodes under my right arm (1.7 in. diameter), and my oncologist recomments lymph node dissection (removing all of them at that location). I am concerned about the possible side effects--pain, swelling, etc. I assume that the cancer has metastacized, and wonder if I'll just be making my remaining life more difficult. Does anyone have experience or data about the probability of debilitating side effects?

Hello;

I have stage 3 melanoma and had a lymph node dissection in the groin.  tumor was in left thigh.  10 lymph nodes were removed and I have lymphadema (swelling)  in the left leg.  Some days are worse than others.  Luckily it is mainly in the thigh.  I wear a compression garment during the day and find that to be a tremendous help.  Exercise also helps.  I went ahead with the lymph node dissection since my feeling was the lymphadema was better than not removing the nodes and taking of chance of the cancer spreading.  Good luck to you and stay strong. Joanne

RE: Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by johnsat on Sat Mar 06, 2010 06:54 AM

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On Feb 18, 2010 9:20 PM VINEYARD wrote:

On Feb 11, 2010 7:16 PM johnsat wrote:

I have melanoma in lymph nodes under my right arm (1.7 in. diameter), and my oncologist recomments lymph node dissection (removing all of them at that location). I am concerned about the possible side effects--pain, swelling, etc. I assume that the cancer has metastacized, and wonder if I'll just be making my remaining life more difficult. Does anyone have experience or data about the probability of debilitating side effects?

Hello;

I have stage 3 melanoma and had a lymph node dissection in the groin.  tumor was in left thigh.  10 lymph nodes were removed and I have lymphadema (swelling)  in the left leg.  Some days are worse than others.  Luckily it is mainly in the thigh.  I wear a compression garment during the day and find that to be a tremendous help.  Exercise also helps.  I went ahead with the lymph node dissection since my feeling was the lymphadema was better than not removing the nodes and taking of chance of the cancer spreading.  Good luck to you and stay strong. Joanne

Joanne,

Thanks for sharing your experience with me. I'm still undecided about the dissection. I assume that the melanoma has already spread to the rest of my body, although it doesn't show up yet on a PET scan.

Sorry it took me so long to reply--I thought I'd receive an e-mail if anyone responded, but I didn't get one. I just checked this thread.

John

RE: Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by Narnie on Sat Mar 06, 2010 01:09 PM

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On Feb 13, 2010 10:36 PM johnsat wrote:

On Feb 12, 2010 8:47 PM Narnie wrote:

If possible, get an appointment at M D Anderson in Houston.  Their melanoma dept. does not do surgery but tries to shrink the tumors with bio-chemotherapy.  My sister went there with melanoma in lymph nodes under her arms and also a huge one in her groin.

She was given bio-chemo which is three chemo drugs plus Interlukin 2 and Interferon.  She took six treatments, the last one being in May of 2007.  It worked and she is healthy today.  She goes back to Houston every four months for scans and check-ups.

She owes her life the the melanoma doctor at MDA.

Carolyn in TN

Thank you for the information--I've heard of Anderson. What were the side effects of her treatment? I've heard that they're pretty awful.

My sister's treatment was awful and she suffered during the six bio-chemo treatments.  It requires you to be hospitalized while on the drugs.  BUT, all the suffering was worth it as she is still alive today and no cancer has shown up on her quarterly checkups.  M D Anderson is the greatest.

Caroyn in TN

RE: Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by johnsat on Sat Mar 06, 2010 07:57 PM

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Thanks! That is what I was afraid of.

John

RE: Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by Rianna on Thu Apr 01, 2010 09:15 PM

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can you please give me more details about the clinic in houston and what exactly your sister had.

RE: Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by rickerbucks on Sat Dec 04, 2010 04:36 PM

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My wife had melonoma on her left foot and the lymph nodes in left groin which were removed.

She went on inteferon for a year and that ended about three moths ago.

The last month she has an increasing endema. It started in the left leg and thus was originally thought to be lymphadema but hthe fluid retention kept growoing. filling her right leg and now her abdoman. - She has put on about 50 lbs in the last 4 weeks.

 

We just got a PET scan yesterday and have yet to get the results but I gatehr the current theory is that melanoma has reached the lymph nodes in the torso and has pichned close the thoratic duct. We have been told readiation and chemo would be next if that is indeed the issue.

Can anyone share if they have had this experience?

RE: Edema and other side effects after lymph node dissection

by rachellebc on Wed Dec 22, 2010 02:50 PM

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On Apr 01, 2010 9:15 PM Rianna wrote:

can you please give me more details about the clinic in houston and what exactly your sister had.

hi I also go to MD Anderson in houston and love it... you can go to their website and do a self ref. and someone will call you back right away(you can also call them). they will want a copies of your medical recordes, pictures, slides, flims and scans. The center you would go to is the melanoma and skin center and their toll free number is 1-800-392-1611 or 713-792-2121 their website is www.mdanderson.org  I don't know who the other person see's but my doctor is Dr. Gershenwald. I have a friend who see's Dr.Lee their and really likes him also. They will review all the information I listed above they want you to send and will then assign you to the doctor they feel will be best for you...they also have a program that will help if you don't have insurance... Also my melanoma was stage 1b clarks level 4 and I had 3 lymph nodes removed out from under my left arm. I didn't have insurance when I had my surgery done and didn't know about md andersons program for the uninsured. for me I am happy to know the nodes are free and hope they stay that way...I am 5yrs out now. I do have swelling in the area above my left arm from the surgry and one of the lymph nodes stays hard and sore a lot close to the bend in my elbow(could be from me leaning on it while on the internet)... I also have numbness down the back of my arm and around my shoulder blad ...but I'm still happier knowing the nodes are free...

 best wishes

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