Breast Cancer Movement • 14m
-30-70% of women experience this after breast cancer treatment
-Lymphatic system is like our circulatory system for our immune system
Lymph nodes act as filters and are not able to do their job due to being removed, damaged by radiation, tumor pressing against the node, cancer cells in the lymph nodes themselves
-Our lymph system is greatly affected by surgery for breast cancer
-Typically, it affects the same side as surgery or radiation treatment
-Can happen immediately or years down the road
-Can be temporary or long term
-Length of time can be improved depending on how soon you get treatment for the lymphedema
-Fullness, heaviness, decreased flexibility and motion, aching, itching, nerve like symptoms, weakness
-Tight watch or jewelry
-Arm feels as if it is “shrink-wrapped”
-Clothing feels tighter on the arm
-Pitting edema: when you press on your skin and it does not bounce back (looks like you have divot in your skin)
-Redness or warmthImmediately call your doctor as you may have an infection
Long Term Complications
-Chronic swelling becomes a lifetime issue
-Increased risk of cellulitis and sepsis
-Compression sleeves (over the counter or custom made)
-Protect arms and skin
-Have blood pressure or blood draw taken from the arm that does not have swelling
-Do not wear tight clothes
-Manage weightlinked to increased risk of lymphedema
Slowly build up strength with return to exercise
-Use other arm until cleared for heavy lifting
-Sometimes heat makes worse: avoid hot tubs, saunas, steam rooms…
-Get evaluated and treated by a PT
-Fit for custom compression sleeves
-Lymphatic drainage massage
-See video for tips on doing this at home as well!
Up Next in Breast Cancer Movement
Resource: Lymphedema Exercises
Make sure you are cleared by your surgeon to exercise. Use 1-2 lb weights, or no weights if it increases discomfort.
-Ball Squeezes with Arm Extended
-Biceps Curl (sit or stand)
-Lying Triceps Extension
-Lying Shoulder Fly
-Standing/Sitting Shoulder Flexion (Front shoulder raises)
Resource: Post-Surgery Stretch
For the first 6 weeks post-surgery the focus is usually on range of motion. You will likely have to continue to work on this mobility.
You will probably be learning most of these at the hospital. Get cleared by surgeon to perform these stretches:
-Pendulums - Leaning over with an arm s...
-Scar tissue is sticky and will stick to muscle tissue, bone, fascia around it
-It is worse with radiation
-Affects entire body not just your chest
-Fascial system is like the Saran wrap of our body
Why Do We Care About Scarring?
-Can cause increased pain, nerve symptoms, impingement of...