Breast Cancer and Lymphedema
Lymphedema is commonly experienced in breast cancer patients who have undergone a mastectomy, lumpectomy or radiation. Often times, lymph nodes are removed or damaged during surgery or treatment. This damage to the lymphatic system can cause blockages in the lymph vessels resulting in swelling (Lymphedema).
According to multiple studies cited in the Susan G. Komen website, “10-20% of women who had axillary dissection develop Lymphedema”. In breast cancer patients, the Lymphedema typically develops around 1 to 3 years after surgery and will require treatment to reach a more manageable level of swelling.
With treatment, patient education and continued use of compression wear and a pneumatic compression device, most patients are able to easily manage their swelling on their own.
If you or someone you know has or has had breast cancer, it helps to be informed on the possibility of developing Lymphedema. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have!