Signs and Symptoms:
1. Any feeling of fullness in the limb and sometimes in the chest wall.
2. Skin feeling snug or tight
3. Swelling in the fingers or hand – rings are suddenly too tight or wrist bands of sweaters, a watch or bracelet feel uncomfortable
4. Loss of flexibility in the wrist or hand
It is very important to get immediate attention if you notice any of the above symptoms or have persistent swelling. Find a qualified lymphedema specialist (i.e. Vodder certified) in your area and have your condition assessed. Quick action and attention will greatly reduce the severity of the condition.
Once diagnosed, you will be given a treatment plan which might include an initial bandaging stage and later a fitted lymphedema sleeve. If you are in a more rural area without these resources, there are ready-to-wear lymphedema or compression sleeves available.
For those who have had abdominal cancer surgeries which affect the lymph nodes in the groin, lymphedema can affect your lower limbs – same symptoms as above. This often happens to men who have had prostate cancer.
Be aware and educated – it is your best defence.