4 years ago1,000+ Views
If your breast cancer treatment involved treatment to the lymph nodes, you are at risk for lymphedema. What is it? Lymphedema is an abnormal buildup of fluid inside soft tissue due to a blockage in the lymph system, a group of tissues that draw waste fluid out of the tissues. What symptoms should I look out for? In the arms or leg closest to the area treated for cancer: 1. Swelling 2. "Heavy" feeling 3. Weakness or decreased flexibility 4. Rings, watches, or clothes that become too tight 5. Discomfort or pain, although often there is no pain 6. Tight, shiny, warm, or red skin that does not indent at all when pressed, may look like an orange peel 7. Hardened and thicker skin (hyperkeratosis) 8. The development of small warts or blisters that leak clear fluid See your doctor if you show even the gradual beginnings of these symptoms; it may be a sign of lymphedema or more serious conditions. Reducing your risk for lymphedema: 1. Maintain a healthy weight 2. Keep moving (i.e. don't sit too long in the same position, exercise) 3. Wear loose-fitting clothes, avoid arm or hand jewelry 4. Limit time in extremely hot and cold areas 5. Have injections and vaccines done in the other arm 6. Seek medical care if you have any signs of an infection (i.e. fever above 100.5 ˚F, hot skin, or skin that is red, swelling, or painful)