Breast Cancer DIY

...created by women with breast cancer, for women and men with breast cancer!

New  video   6-1-2014

This is a new presentation about lymph edema produced by a doctor, it is over an hour long, but it has loads of information
video about Lymphedema


What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema can occur when a clear fluid, known as lymphatic fluid, builds up in the soft tissues of your body, usually in an arm or leg.

Acquired lymphedema


• Aching, weakness, redness, heaviness, or tightness in one of your limbs

• Less flexibility in your wrist or ankle

• Tight-fitting rings or shoes 

Click Here For More Information on Lymphedema

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Suggested Precautions

These suggested precautions can help to prevent or minimize symptoms:

Don't let anyone tell you that after a year or so, you are not in danger of lymph edema this is NOT TRUE -- if lymph nodes have been removed -- you are ALWAYS in danger of Lymph edema and it can last your whole life .

Abdominal surgery can also cause lymph edema in the legs, so be aware!

• Clean your affected limb regularly, remembering to dry it thoroughly and apply lotion

• Wear gloves while gardening, especially guard against rose thorn pricks,  and cooking burns can be a real problem if you get sticks from gardening - wash immediately with soap and water and apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infections

•  Any infection on the affected hand or arm can be problematic - if you wear acrylic nails and get them done at a nail salon be extra careful about infection from the tools they use and any "hang nail" infections

• If you shave the affected area, use an electric razor

• Don't go barefoot, but if you do -- guard against any cuts you may get stepping on sharp stones - Dirt contains many bacteria that can cause infections

• Do not cross your legs when you sit

• Do not carry a handbag with your affected arm 

• Repetitive motion like scrubbing floors, washing windows, cleaning counter tops, etc - can cause problems also - do them in moderation if you must.

• Carrying shopping bags on the affected arm, can cause swelling - don't loop plastic grocery bags over your arm at your elbow

Avoid having injections and blood pressure readings performed on your affected limb.

Wear a special bracelet or necklace to notify medical personnel of your risk for lymph edema and the risk for complications: infection.

Don't think "Well I can always tell them not to use my arm!" -- what happens if you faint, or are unconscious, or are alone when you have an auto accident?

Better to be safe than sorry,  once lymph edema begins -- you have it FOREVER!

Click Here For More Information Tests

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Alert Bracelet

Emergency Care personnel need to be advised of your condition.  Many people feel they do not need to wear a bracelet, but if you are unconscious - nobody will know!  Be pro-active with your Lymphedema:
Don't allow anyone to tell you that after a number of years your risk is diminished.  Once you have lymph nodes removed - the risk of lymphedema is ALWAYS there!

National Lymphedema Network

If you are going to have surgery and want a bright bracelet to alert surgical staff:
Peninsula Medical offers a free wristband:

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Risk Reduction

Lymphedema Tests

Articles, Videos, Books & DVD's


 Articles of Interest:
>  Routine Screening Of Breast Cancer Patients For Symptoms Of Sub-  Clinical Lymphoedema Leads To Better Clinical Outcomes
- by
> Pre-Operative Assessment Allows Early Diagnosis And Successful Treatment Of Lymphedema
- by Medical News Today
> Lymphedema Risk For Breast Cancer Survivors Increased By Obesity: Medical News Today



 >  Lymphedema: CancerQuest
 > Surviving Breast Cancer often marred by breast swelling   


New Book :
Thriving After Breast Cancer : Essential Healing Exercises for Body and Mind
Includes exercises for Lymphedema -
ISBN# 10-0767908465
ISNB# 13-978-0767908467
Available thru

The Lebed Method, Focus on Healing through Therapeutic Exercise and Movement
Participants on the DVD - have various types of cancer -- demonstrate exercises to reduce lymphedema
this DVD was brought to our attention by a member of (a breast cancer discussion site)
Available thru

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