Hard lumps under skin of lymphoedema arm

I have lymphoedema in my left arm following treatment for breast cancer. I have a small hard painful lump on the inside of my arm which is surrounded by a softer larger swelling. The hard lump perhaps increases in size when I use my arm a lot. Neither lymphoedema specialist or GP or anyone else seems to know what it is. Appointment with the breast surgeon in two weeks. Has anyone else had a similar thing?

10 Replies

  • Hi Jane,

    I don't know what's causing the lump, but have you seen a Lymphoedema Consultant? Professor Peter Mortimer works in London area ( Royal Marsden : Chelsea, St George's, and RM Hospital in Surrey. I too have secondary Lymphoedema following breast cancer and WLE mine is where the operation took place. There's also a Lymphoedema Consultant who works in the Derby area. The Lymphoedema Support Network lymphoedema.org would have the contact details for other Lymphoedema Consultants in other parts of the uk. Your GP could write a referral to Professor Mortimer, he has a particular interest in secondary Lymphoedema caused by breast cancer treatment.

    I hope that someone can shed some light on this for you. Judith xx

  • Thanks Judith

    I see a lymphoedema physio regularly for MLD and she's very good, but obviously not a consultant. I'm at the other end of the conuntry from Peter Mortimer, but will look into who there might be in my area.

  • Appts with Proff M are from Consultant only & cannot be made by your G P unless you live in the right catchment area. GP's Specialist Nurses etc can refer for private appts only.

  • Hi Aprille,

    I appear to live in the right catchment area. It is possible to have a referral from a GP, but as you point out the method of referral varies from area to area. Regards Judith.

  • Hi, I think the only G P referrals to St George's have to be from that hospital's catchment area. I am sure if you search for the exact location for long enough you will find your answer. Sorry to be no help at all...

  • Me again...G P referrals only for Patients living in the L B of Wandsworth in fact. Everyone else has to be referred by a Consultant and even then there is a very long wait.

  • I have lyphoedema in my right arm after breast surgery and lymph node clearance. I have had no problems with lumps under my arm until recently and, wrongly assumed that the cancer had returned there. I was very worried until I had the results of a scan which showed no cancer. My Oncologist says that it is lymph nodes working overtime to try and clear the excessive lymph from my arm so maybe that is the same in yur case. My lumps seemed to be bigger when my arm was more swollen and have gone down slightly now my arm is less swollen.

    Hopefully, your breast surgeon will be able to explain

  • Thanks Chrissie

    Your post encouraged me, the thought of recurrance is never far away and is usually my first thought. I've managed to get an earlier appointment with the breast surgeon which is good.

  • Don't forget to let us know how you get on - glad you have managed to get an earlier appointment to put your mind at rest

  • Update. Saw the consultant on Tuesday and after scans etc it has been diagnosed as a cyst and fatty necrosis, compounded by infection, lymphoedema and the late effects of radiotherapy. He asked if I'd had any trauma to the area recently, but I haven't. I did have an accident back in January when I crashed through a greenhouse lymphoedema arm first and it was that area I hurt then. He said it could be that. So all in all a relief!

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