Tips to reduce risk of lymphedema after breast cancer surgery

The lymphedema is the most dangerous complication for women after breast cancer under armpit lymph nodes. In order to reduce the risk and prevent the complication, the women mentioned above need to know the notes BCVN collected below.

This article was collected by BCVN from the notes in the articles of Active Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Australia with advices from doctors in Department of Radiation and Oncology 4, Tumor hospital, Ho Chi Minh City.

BCVN neither ensure nor be legally responsible for updating or complete these information, as well as BCVN is not responsible for the lost and injuries while using the information in this article.

However, BCVN welcomes and appreciates all constructive comments from professionals, doctors, patients, and people concerning with a view to helping women with breast cancer, influenced people and raising awareness of community through this article.

 Take care of your skin, clean it carefully, dry tenderly. If your skin is dry, use unscented moisturing cream. Due to dry skin, stretch marks lead to the infection.

 Protect your skin from cuts, scrapes, and sunburns and insect’s bites. Using a razor when cleaning your underarm, especially avoid cutting your cuticles when manicuring your nails. Wear gloves when washing dishes, or gardening. If you have any cut, and consult a doctor immediately if there is any symptoms of infection.

 Avoid carrying the heavy objects including handbag (>5kg/ 11lbs)

 Avoid the tight clothes, jewelries could make you feel pain. The clothes and jewelries are considered as bandage prevent blood circulation in arms.

 Avoid either checking blood pressure or blood draw, acupuncture of affected limb. This process might hinder pushing out the chemicals leading to swollen lymphedema.

 Try to keep a balanced diet, avoid gaining weight. Gaining weight fast, lymphedema have to work harder to clean lymphedema cells.

 Try to use your affected limb as many times as possible in your daily gentle activities promoting lymph drainage

 If you have a long trip or any kinds of travel that you sit for long period, try to practice your affected limb during the period. Should wear during the journey. Any changes of pressure on airplane with a long period for sitting might be the beneficial conditions for lymphedema.

 Do not drive motorcycle by yourselves on the long road.

 Do not steam, avoid the too cold temperature.

 While sleeping, avoid one-sided form for a long term.

BCNV 12/2013