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swelling of the ankles/feet


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My dad's legs are both swollen including his feet and ankles. I was told by a nurse that it probably a result of two things. First, cancer causes blood clots. Second, my dad's cancer has spread to his lymph nodes. Since the lymph nodes assist in removing fluid from the body, the cancer may be affecting their ability to remove the excess fluid. Talk to the doctor and see if a blood thinner and/or "water pill" may be needed to relieve the swelling. If left alone, it will cause pain. :(

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jtac75 thanks for the info. I was reading that Inferior Vena Cava Syndrome could cause this type of swelling. Has your Dad had this type of diagnosis? There are problems with the Superior Vena Cava for us. He is already on a blood thinner. Iressa said that 2% may have this type of side effect.

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My dad hasn't had any diagnosis related to the vena cavas. He has had pulmonary embolisms and needed a filter inserted into a vein to break up the bigger clots.

I checked out the symptoms of the Superior Vena Cava Syndrome and swollen extremities is one of the primary symptoms.

I hope this helps.


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Guest Ry not logged in


As we discussed in the chat the other night, my husband's case is very similar to your brother's. The vena cava syndrome is not from the Iressa but (in my husband's case) from the tumor being on the vena cava and restricting the blood flow. This is what lead to his diagnosis. The blood was unable to flow back from his head to the heart and his neck veins swelled up. The clot in the vena cava is still there but they say it is not a concern and he is not on a blood thinner.

Sometimes swelling is also from fluid build up and diurectics help. I am sure one of our great nurses on here will be of much more help than I am. I am guessing the pressure on the vena cava is causing the swelling. Is he going to the doctor, because he should be seen?

Best wishes. let us know how he's doing.

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The superior vena cava drains the upper body (head and neck) and the inferior drains the rest of the body. They both empty into the right side of the heart. Swelling above the shoulders could be superior v.c. syndrome; swelling of the lower extremities could be inferior v.c. syndrome, although there are several other potential causes of swelling.

General nursing care for lower extremity swelling: limit fluid intake (check with MD or nurse first about this, however), elevate the legs every time you sit, avoid extended periods of lower extremity dependency (i.e., change position, elevate legs, walk around periodically), and do moderate exercise. Muscle contraction will help move the fluid back where it belongs. Practice contracting the leg muscles in place while sitting with legs elevated. "Pumping on the gas" and lifting the leg straight up are good exercises that most people can do, even in bed. And remember to eat well; enough protein intake is especially important.

Another tip: buy a foam wedge pillow and put it under the legs at night, or whenever lying down.

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