Lymphedema Symptoms Breast Cancer

A comprehensive overview of lymphedema covering subjects as symptoms, diagnostics, research, causes and pictures
Lymphedema Symptoms Breast Cancer

Lymphedema Symptoms Breast Cancer

     Lymphedema is the abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid in body especially in the extremities. The arms and legs are most commonly affected parts of the body. This condition most commonly develops when radiotherapy and surgical procedures affect the lymphatic vessels of the body. Lymphedema symptoms breast cancer occur when many lymph nodes are removed and not only having the sentinel node biopsy. There is even much higher risk to those who are taking both the options of surgery and radiation.

     The risk of lymphedema symptoms breast cancer increases due to some procedures. These include modified radical mastectomy, simple mastectomy and lymph node removal, lumpectomy, combined procedure of a cancer surgery and lymph node removal and radiation therapy solely.

     In the very beginning, lymphedema symptoms breast cancer includes severe swelling in the distal extremities. Swelling occurs most commonly in the fingers, arms, feet, calves and knees. Swelling can for the noticed for the first time first time after any traumatic event or any infection that has been treated for cancer. There is a feeling of tingling and heavy sensation. Skin becomes tight and structural changes start to make it rough and thick. The patient can feel extreme numbness and weakness. The affected limb is extremely difficult to move. The flexibility of the limb is decreased and can not be moved with ease. The weight becomes increased and items such as clothes, rings, bracelets and watches become tight.

     According to the latest research, 7 to 56% of the people get affected after the breast surgery. It occurs especially in those who have undergone axillary lymph node dissection than the ones having simple lymph node biopsy. The arm may become reddened and inflamed. It becomes very difficult to move the arm and fingers. These symptoms can appear at any time after the surgery and may become worse if not treated in time.

     There is no particular cure for the lymphedema symptoms breast cancer. One should have the aim to control the increase of swelling and discomfort or pain, and prevent the worsening of the condition. Medicines are not really always helpful in this regard. The options of controlling and decreasing the lymphedema symptoms breast cancer are practicing of exercise, massage and manual compression. Some special exercises are devised. These exercises help in the pumping of the lymphatic fluid out of the swollen limb. This can decrease swelling and discomfort to a great extent. The physical therapists are trained in the manual lymphatic drainage of the limbs. Different steps of leg emptying maneuvers are followed which easily get the lymph out of the limb. Another method is the compression which encourages the same process. It can be accomplished through a number of ways. These are elastic bandaging, sleeve or stocking compression and the use of air driven pumps.

     The lymphedema symptoms breast cancer can cause a great impact on the life of the affected woman. It can happen to cause severe emotional trauma of disfigurement. It can affect the quality of life of a person particularly if the right arm is affected which is the dominant one.

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