Lymphedema: A Lifestyle Shift after Cancer

Lymphedema is a swelling of the arm and/or leg after surgery.  Breast cancer and prostate cancer are the two most likely causes.  Once you have lymphedema, it is a matter of managing the symptoms as there is no cure.  I have talked about ways to reduce your risk, but once you have lymphedema, it is a matter of adapting it into your lifestyle.

One area will be the wearing of a lymphedema sleeve for arm lymphedema or a compression bra and/or camisole for torso lymphedema.  You will need to be fitted properly by a trained lymphedema specialist who will diagnose your condition, provide initial manual lymphatic massage and bandaging to bring the arm or torso to a stable condition.  They will then prescibe the proper tension and sizing for the compression garment.  For some, you will be able to claim this garment on your health insurance.

There are also options for special arm lymphedema sleeves for nighttime use to eliminate the need for bandaging.

As you get familiar with your options, life will move on and you will incorporate these garments into your lifestyle.

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