I had a tah/bso in April 2006 followed by staging laparotomy and omentectomy in July 2006.
Everything was progressing well at my post op check five weeks ago and the surgeon checked my neck and ankles as well as examining my incision.
I didn't think anyhing of this until last week when i noticed some soft tissue swelling on both of my ankles but more prominent on my right side. I have been worrying constantly that this is a cancer swelling. Does anyone know if there can be cancer in these areas and why did the surgeon look at them?
I am worrying probably for nothing but thought that someone might have had the same.
thanks in anticipation of your replies,
Good question. The doc's are always grabbing my ankles when I am seated on the table and I don't know why!
I suppose that they are checking for lymphadema, but I did not have any abdominal nodes removed; they were unaware that I had cancer when they did my TAH BSO. The CA was an incidental finding on post surgical pathology.
Hi Doris - If your ankles are swollen, then I'd make an appointment right away to determine if you do/don't have lymphedema. I don't know all the possible causes of swelling, but I do know that if you have lymphedema, it responds to treatment best if treatment (called Manual Lymph Drainage - MLD) is started within a month of the onset of the swelling. You can get lymphedema from lymph node dissection, from poorly administered chemo, and from radiation damage.
It's not that common to get it in both legs, though.
I also agree that before you jump to cancer, you should consider lymphadema. It took many months for mine to subside, but it finally has. I had swelling in both ankles and feet, but my left side was always worse.
I didn't have any treatment for it, but found that exercising (water aerobics, in particular, because it doesn't put as much pressure on your limbs, but gives the movement) really helped alleviate the swelling. Massage therapy also helped.
thank you all so very much for your considered opinions on my swollen ankles.
I apoligise for my absence in the last day or two but I have been busy constructing my "back to work" plan with my Manager.
I have also been to visit my G.P. who is not too concerned about the swelling, she recommended massage and elevating my feet at the end of the day. I am completely reassured that it is not cancer but she didn't mention lymphoedema but from reading so many of your replies i think it is as it all points to this following the type of surgeries that I have had.
I shall discuss it further with the oncologist whom I shall see in December. Meanwhile I shall follow your collective excellent advice on treatment.
Doris - Many gp's know very little about lymphedema (LE). Although it affects many breast cancer patients, only about 3% of gyno cancer patients get it.
I'm not convinced you have LE, but I'm still not sure why you're waiting until December to see a gyn/onc about this swelling. If it's LE, you cannot afford to wait; it'll just get worse; if not dealt with within a month of onset, treatment results are not as good, you're at risk for infection, etc.
I'm not saying this is LE, but if it is and it began months after surgery (did they take lymph nodes???) then it's the chronic form of LE and you simply cannot afford to wait. There's a lesser form of LE (well, it's not lesser for those who have it!!!) that occurs during chemo/radiation that does subside with time.
If it's not LE, then you can sigh a huge sigh of relief and go on to discover what is causing the swelling.
If I haven't convinced you yet, then promise me that if you see the swelling creep up your legs, you'll get in ASAP.
p.s. - Forgive me for being so pushy. I'm usually not this way.