How to Prevent and Treat Lymphedema
Lymphedema refers to the swelling and/or pain in an area where lymph nodes have been removed or radiated following cancer treatment. It can also be caused by infection. This is different from lymphoma, which is a type of cancer.
Lymphedema can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary is a congenital or hereditary condition, while secondary lymphedema is what cancer patients may face when normal drainage of lymph fluid is disrupted due to a blockage or cut in the lymphatic system, usually the nodes in the armpit or groin.
If you notice any swelling, tightness of skin or discomfort in the area where you had surgery or received radiation, please contact your doctor. If you have been diagnosed with lymphedema, there are specialists who can help reduce the swelling and discomfort.
The National Lymphedema Network has a website with lots of information on prevention and treatment. They sell a bracelet that identifies you as someone who should not have blood drawn or blood pressure taken on the affected arm. for their information.
The American Physical Therapy Association has information on the Prevention and Management of Lymphedema at Local Massotherapists who are licensed to do Manual Lymph Drainage
Muse, Caroline 216/932-8222 Sawyer, Kit 216/932-8222 Shelley, Karan 216/932-8222 True, Kyle 440/734-6570
Baldwin, Anne 216/444-2623 Cleveland Clinic Hallgren, Karen 440/356-9103 Fairview Hospital Knis, Jean 440/356-9103 Fairview Hospital
Galvin, Diane 216/378-6240 Cleveland Clinic, APTA Oncology Section Member
Discount Drug Mart’s “A Woman’s Place” sells lymphedema supplies 1-800-434-9440
The Gathering Place library has several books about lymphedema that can be borrowed:
- Coping with Lymphedema by Swirsky, Joan
- Living Well With Lymphedema by Ehrlich, Ann
- Lymphedema by Donaldson, Sam
- Lymphedema A Breast Cancer Patient’s
Guide to Prevention and Healing by White, Gwen
This list does not replace the advice of your surgeon or oncologist. This list does not claim include all therapists in our area. This list is not a recommendation or endorsement of any individual, institution or website.