Lymphedema: All about the serious side effect in breast cancer survivors | Health

Breast cancer treatment comes with its own side effects, which usually include nausea, fatigue, pain and numbness, and other symptoms. While some of them are easily manageable, others are tricky and lymphedema is one of them. Lymphedema is a common occurrence in breast cancer treatment and can occur days, months or even years after treatment. Persistent and dramatic swelling in your arm, leg or any other part of the body should not be ignored. Signs and symptoms of lymphedema can be mild to severe and can impair their ability to do their daily chores due to moving and debilitating pain. (See pictures: Common side effects of chemotherapy and how they can be managed)

“Lymphedema occurs when the function of the lymphatic system, which moves extra fluids around the body, is disrupted. Thus, the fluid tends to build up and there is soft tissue swelling or lymphedema. Breast cancer treatments happen, ”Apollo Spectra Mumbai breast cancer surgeon Dr Reshma Palep told HT Digital.

Stages of lymphedema (Wikipedia)
Stages of lymphedema (Wikipedia)

Symptoms of Lymphedema

Here are the symptoms of lymphedema found after breast cancer treatment:

Breast cancer-related lymphedema is found mainly in the arm, beginning with the hand on the back of the palm and continuing upwards. This can occur in the days or years after taking the treatment.

“Someone may exhibit symptoms of swelling, fullness or weight. It interferes with one’s ability. One suffers from depression, stress and pain, “says Dr Palep.

Causes of breast cancer-associated lymphedema

Treatment-related risk factors for this condition include removal of the lymph nodes, radiation therapy for the underarm lymph nodes, and lymph nodes, including cancer, mastectomy, and lymph nodes, which contain a large number of lymph nodes. Disrupts the lymphatic system.

Diabetes, obesity and smoking can exacerbate this condition after suffering from breast cancer and taking treatment to cope with it.

How to deal with this condition

“To deal with this problem, various methods such as exercise and massage, known as manual lymphatic drainage, can be used to improve the flow of lymphatic fluid by bandaging techniques trained by a trained physiotherapist to reduce swelling. Says.

Breast cancer surgeons urge people to go for breast exams regularly, exercise regularly, avoid using the affected arm for injections or blood pressure reading, and seek medical attention for burns, skin infections, or affected arm injuries. Tight cloth around the area.

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