Monday 27 March 2017

Lymphoedema after breast cancer treatment

Breast cancer
Breast cancer

Hundreds of women across the country suffer in silence with lymphoedema, a chronic swelling that can occur in the arm, chest or back after breast cancer treatment. Europa Donna Ireland, the patient advocacy group, has now produced a very useful free leaflet on how to manage the condition which is available free on its website www.europadonnaireland.ie.(phone 01 4960198).

Dympna Watson, chairperson of Europa Donna Ireland, said: "Approximately one third of those who undergo treatment for breast cancer will develop lymphoedema. Lymphoedema is a condition which is not yet well understood here in Ireland."

Signs include:

*l Swelling in the arm, chest or back. This can improve after a night's sleep but worsen as the day goes on. Some of the first signs may be clothes or jewellery getting tight or one area looking larger than the other side. Swelling can be hard or soft depending on how long it is present.

* Thickening and dryness of the skin.

*Sensation of fullness and heaviness.

* Discomfort when using the arm for everyday tasks.

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