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Wednesday, 17.07.2024, 17:18
Main » Mammology » Lymphedema - a side effect of treatment of breast cancer 
Lymphedema - a side effect of treatment of breast cancer

Lymphedema - a side effect of treatment of breast cancer

Unfortunately, at the beginning of treatment to predict the exact risk of this complication is very difficult. It all depends on the condition of the patient, the volume of surgery and other treatments that are applied afterwards.

Lymphedema is a side effect of treatment of breast cancer. According to various sources, with upper extremity lymphedema experienced by 20% to 80% of women who have had breast cancer and has already passed a full course of treatment.

Why is the upper extremity lymphedema?

The cause of this complication is the fact that breast surgery for women is often removed lymph nodes during their defeat and for the prevention of recurrence of cancer. The consequence of this, as well as subsequent therapy (radiation exposure of the axillary region) is a violation of the outflow of lymph from the arm area, which is manifested by edema of the soft tissues. This condition is not particularly dangerous or fatal, but can last long enough.

Lymphedema - a cluster of lymph in the soft tissues of the upper extremity. In the area of the feet can also be lymphedema, but this condition is associated with other diseases.

Lymph - a colorless liquid, which is the same as the blood circulates in the body. But unlike blood, it does not flow in the arteries and veins, and thin lymphatic vessels. The function of lymph in the body - cleansing. Cleaning the body lymphatic system is as follows. Lymph collected decay products and other substances from the tissues and delivers them to the "filters" - the lymph nodes, which are scattered throughout the human body. Eventually the lymphatic vessels merge into two large veins that are located near the heart, so the lymph back into the bloodstream, which is further processed and delivered to the organs of excretion.

In addition to the cleaning function in the lymph and many others. It should be said that lymph is rich in protein. It has a definite value, which we shall speak later. Unlike the circulatory system where blood is driven by reductions in cardiac muscle, lymphatic system does not have a central "pumping station". Lymph circulates through the contractions of skeletal and respiratory muscles. But the circulation of this rather slow in most parts of the body of this movement occurs against gravity, covering the entire vast network of tiny capillaries called lymph. These tiny vessels with very thin walls permeate the entire human body, but particularly large number of them in the subcutaneous tissue. In addition, lymphatic vessels have valves that keep lymph flowing in the opposite direction.

When surgical procedures in the armpit area, where the main regional lymph nodes, the doctor removing the lymph nodes, willy-nilly damages lymph vessels. As a result, the lymph can no longer flowing from the soft tissues of hands and it is stagnant. This is evident by the fact that the lymph accumulates in the skin, adipose tissue, muscles, nerves and connective tissue.

At the same time as lymphedema can affect the entire arm and part of her wrist, forearm or shoulder. In addition, lymphedema can affect not only the hand, but the chest on the side where the operation is carried out, as the upper outer part of the breast allows the flow of lymph to regional axillary lymph nodes.

It should be noted that some patients lymphedema is not expressed quite so that you can barely see, and some is a condition can be very pronounced.

Risk factors for lymphedema
Exercise for Lymphedema
Massage - manual lymph drainage for lymphedema
The use of compression bandaging
Alternative treatments for lymphedema
Tips to prevent lymphedema

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