Buddy Check 12: Lymphedema therapy - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Buddy Check 12: Lymphedema therapy

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By Stephanie Byars - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU (KFVS) - The key though for anyone suffering lymphedema is early treatment.

Lymphedema is a common side effect of breast cancer.  The condition causes swelling in the arm or truck and is a result of buildup of lymph fluid in the body.  This can happen after lymph node removal, which is common for those who undergo treatment for breast cancer.


Those dealing with the painful condition often think they shouldn't use the swollen arm.  However, physical therapist Paula Stout says recent studies show the opposite to be the case.  Stout says lifting light weights can ease side effects and actually prevent reoccurrence of the condition.  She says it can also be good for well being.


Stout says ideally everyone recovering from breast cancer treatment, like surgery or radiation, would be checked out for lymphedema.  Although there's not a cure, sufferers can manage the condition as easily as a gentle massage technique and with compression bandages or sleeves.

"We want them to use their arm but they need to learn how to use it in the right way," said Stout. "If they come in for treatment early, many times we can prevent it from getting worse or happening again."

You should check with your doctor or physical therapist if you have questions about lymphedema therapy or before starting any exercise program.


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