What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is an abnormal swelling that can develop in the arm, hand, breast, or torso as a side effect of Breast Cancer Surgery and Radiation therapy. Lymphedema can appear during the months or even years after treatment ends.
Not all Breast Cancer patients get Lymphedema, but a few factors can cause Lymphedema.
What are the causes of Lymphedema?
The doctors say that cancer patients should do exercises, but not many Breast Cancer patients do exercise, due to which the muscles start to get stiff, and patients have swelling in their hands.
Tight clothes, wearing bangles or rings, waxing, lifting more than 2-4 kg weight, getting your blood pressure checked or having injections in the hand you had surgery, can lead to Lymphedema.
How to cure Lymphedema?
We have to do some things to cure Lymphedema. First, we see how much swelling is there and how stiff the hand is. Everyone has to exercise three times a day, and exercise-related to the shoulder should be done five to twenty times a day. A lymphatic massage is given to the patients to charge the body’s lymph nodes to help the fluid flow. The massage should always be started from the shoulder and not from the fist.
- The patient should use their fingers at the collar bone and pressing gently; they should go till the naval.
- Then, the patient should use her first two-finger and move them behind the ears.
- Then, the patient has to give the massage on hands from shoulder to fist using the palm.
What is bandaging?
There is a bandage set with various types of bandages, and there are different ways to use the bandage. The pressure is first on the fist, and then slowly, it comes to the shoulder, and that’s how Lymphedema reduces.
The is a lympha press machine for people who have stiff hands, but the work of bandage and machine are the same. If a patient has more swelling, we advise her to use a bandage for at least 18 hours. Using a bandage reduces the swelling. Bandaging is decided based on how much swelling there is on the hand.
If someone takes all the precautions and exercises from the beginning, then Lymphedema would not even happen.
For how long should the exercise, massage, and bandaging be done?
The exercises should be done life long. The more the patient does the exercise, the less will be the chances of Lymphedema. So, exercise is beneficial for all, whether someone has Lymphedema or not.
Massage and bandaging should be done because that is how Lymphedema can be managed.
What are the things that lymphedema patients should take care of?
The patient should not lift much weight, get injections or get their blood pressure checked from the hand with Lymphedema. She should take care of cuts and burns because the wound will take time to heal; she should not wear tight clothes, rings, and bangles and avoid dryness of the skin.
Does diet or weight have any effect on Lymphedema?
No, they both do not have any effect on Lymphedema.
How can patients who have Lymphedema manage mental trauma?
Exercise is beneficial for all, so the patient who has Lymphedema should not think that she is the only one who has to do exercises. The patients should not take any stress; they should take care of themselves and do the things they love.