Will radiation aggravate swelling?

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Question from Janet: I have swelling that comes and goes under my arm after my mastectomy. Will radiation aggravate the swelling?
Answers - Lydia Komarnicky, M.D. Radiation should not aggravate the swelling necessarily. It sounds like you probably have a seroma (fluid buildup). It should probably be pointed out to your surgeon, but the radiation should not make this worse. Eventually, with time, this fluid collection will stop forming when your lymphatic channels have opened and are flowing more easily.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Radiation Therapy Updates featured Lydia T. Komarnicky, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about advances in radiation therapy: the newest and best techniques, combining radiation therapy with other treatments, ways to manage, reduce or eliminate side effects, and more.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in March 2004.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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