October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! In honor of that, we wanted to put together some helpful information regarding lymphedema caused by breast cancer treatment.
Lymphedema is a chronic condition that can occur as a result of breast cancer treatment, especially if any lymph nodes are removed or damaged during surgery. Symptoms of lymphedema include swelling, discomfort, heaviness, and reduced range of motion in the affected arm or breast. It can develop months or even years after treatment. For this reason, it’s important for survivors to remain vigilant!
Just like with breast cancer, early detection is key when treating lymphedema. The use of proper exercise, compression garments, and good skin care not only help manage it, but they can also reduce the risk of developing lymphedema. Breast cancer survivors can play an active role in managing lymphedema through self-care practices like manual lymphatic drainage and daily skin checks.
Lymphedema can significantly impact your quality of life, making everyday activities challenging, as well as affecting your body image and self-esteem. There are support groups and organizations that offer resources and emotional support. Don’t be afraid to seek help!
If you have lymphedema or think you might, give us a call at 918-756-3330. As a Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Kris would be more than happy to speak with you and discuss possible treatment options!