Breast Cancer Related Lymphoedema

What causes Lymphoedema?

During surgery for breast cancer, your surgeon might take out lymph nodes from under the arm to see if the cancer has spread. Removing lymph nodes and vessels changes the flow of lymph fluid in that part of the body. With breast cancer, it makes it harder for fluid in the chest, breast, and arm to flow out of these areas. If the remaining lymph vessels can’t drain enough fluid from these areas, the fluid builds up and causes swelling, or lymphedema.

Radiation treatment to the underarm lymph nodes can also affect lymph fluid flow in the arm, chest, and breast area by causing scarring and damage. This further increases the risk of lymphoedema. In most cases, lymphedema develops slowly over time and the swelling can range from mild to severe. It can start soon after surgery and/or radiation treatment. But it can also start months or even many years later.

Signs and symptoms of Lymphoedema

  • Swelling in the breast, chest, shoulder, arm, or hand
  • Part of your body feeling full or heavy Skin changing texture, feeling tight or hard, or looking red
  • New aching, tingling, or other discomfort in the area
  • Less movement or flexibility in nearby joints, such as your shoulder, hand, or wrist

Treatment for Oedema (swelling) and Lymphoedema

Amanda is a qualified Lymphatic and Lymphoedema therapist who can provide guidance on treatments most suitable for your current health status.

Treatment may involves some or all of the following protocols for best outcomes:

  • A thorough health history
  • Circumference measurements (and Bio impedance measurement)
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage & Breath Work
  • Scar Tissue Release
  • Compression Bandaging and Garments.
  • Instruction on self massaging and appropriate exercise

For further information and support contact Amanda via phone or email.