Sunday, 4 March 2018

Lymphoedema Awareness Week 2018 Day 1 Introduction


To mark Lymphoedema Awareness Week 2018, we will be sharing some of the experiences of women living with lymphoedema, including how we were diagnosed, how we cope and how we have learned to live with our lymphoedema - with resilience.
According to CRUK, about 1 out of 5 people (20%) with breast cancer go on to develop lymphoedema,:…/lymphoedema-after-breast-… This is because one function of the lymphatic system is to drain excess fluid from tissues and if the lymphatic system is disrupted or damaged as a result of surgery and/or radiotherapy, it can lose this ability and the excess fluid will cause the tissue to swell.
Swelling is a natural part of the healing process following surgery and usually settles down as we recover. lymphoedema can develop soon after surgery or radiotherapy. But, as you'll hear from the women who will be sharing their stories over the next week, it can also be triggered many years after treatment. It is important that people understand the risk of developing lymphoedema is life-long where the lymph nodes have been removed or damaged.
Lymphoedema, pronounced lim-fo-dee-ma, is a chronic (long-term) condition that causes swelling and leads to pain and a loss of mobility; it can also feel disfiguring. It usually affects the arms or legs, and sometimes the hand and fingers, although, following breast cancer it can affect the breast and trunk.
There is no cure for lymphoedema, but symptoms can be controlled using a combination of different techniques, usually massage and compression garments and also taping. There are some exciting surgical developments, but these are not suitable for everyone. There are also things we are advised which can help prevent the condition getting worse, such as specially designed exercises, good skin care to avoid infection and having a healthy diet and lifestyle.

No comments: