Although survival rates for early-stage breast cancer are improving, many women continue to experience lymphedema. Among patients who undergo axillary dissection, the risk of lymphedema is similar to that of radical surgery. Nevertheless, patients who undergo breast-conserving surgery experience significantly reduced quality of life because of lymphedema. Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study to examine the association between lymphedema and quality of life after breast cancer surgery. The study controlled for surgical factors, patient demographics, and treatment types to identify potential differences in risk for lymphedema. informative post Functional Transformation Mobile Rehab – Mobile Lymphedema Therapy Services Sarasota
Treatments for lymphedema include physical therapy, including exercises for the affected arm. Patients should also avoid activities that can cause skin infections and injections to the arm. Lymphedema is often minimized with regular moderate or high-frequency exercise. Ask your healthcare provider if physical therapy would be beneficial, and if so, how often. Physical therapy may be beneficial for you, depending on your unique health and risk factors.
Postoperative radiation therapy can increase the risk of lymphedema, even though SLNB is associated with less morbidity. However, radiation therapy to the axilla has the potential to obstruct the lymphatic system, causing scarring and lymphedema. According to the American Cancer Society, about 10% to 15% of patients who undergo axillary lymph node dissection experience lymphedema.
To treat lymphedema, patients must first determine whether they are prone to infection. Infections can result in lymphedema, which is an emergency medical situation. If you notice redness, warmth, or peeling skin, you should visit a doctor immediately. If you experience repeated infections, antibiotics may be necessary. Aside from surgery, patients who suffer from lymphedema should be aware that recurrent cellulitis can put them at risk of infection.
Women with lymphedema often experience an impairment of their quality of life after breast cancer therapy. A study conducted by Coster et al5 found that women with lymphedema had more arm problems than women with similar disease severity before treatment. They also scored significantly lower than matched preoperative trial participants. Despite these findings, it is still unclear if lymphedema is linked to breast cancer or not.
Complete decongestive therapy (CDT) was first described in the 1800s. It is based on the inherent properties of water. Combined with compression therapy, it can improve lymphatic contractility. This therapy is often done weekly in a group setting, and patients participate actively in the process. One study did not show a significant difference in lymphedema volume reduction between women with and without lymphedema, but it remains standard treatment for lymphedema patients.Read More