Lymphedema after Breast Cancer

A common side effect of breast cancer is lymphedema. Lymphedema is the buildup or swelling of the lymph fluid in the fat tissues under the skin.

Women who have had multiple lymph nodes removed during their breast cancer treatment or women who have undergone radiation have a higher chance of getting lymphedema.

Symptoms of Lymphedema

Below are the common signs of lymphedema.

  • Swelling in the arm or leg
  • Tightness or heaviness in body
  • Skin changes (hardening or thickening of the skin)
  • New aching or discomfort in the lymph node area
  • Less movement or flexibility in the joints

Diagnosis and Treatment

Lymphedema can be diagnosed based on a physical examination by your doctor, MRI, CT scan or ultrasound. Treatment for lymphedema can include medications to reduce swelling and/or lifestyle changes.

For more information on lymphedema and breast cancer treatment, call Christian Hospital at 314.747.9355 or toll-free at 877.747.9355 or email us.