Breast cancer surgery can have consequences, including a painful backup of lymph fluids in the arm or chest called lymphedema. Cudos to actress Kathy Bates for bringing awareness to the issue. If you are having surgery, get a pre-surgical assessment of your risk of lymphedema. Rehabilitation medicine experts advise these and other suggestions in the chapter of our book on post-mastectomy pain syndrome and lymphedema.
Our book will look at an under-recognized problem of lymphedema, painful arm and chest swelling after breast surgery. We interviewed a woman this week who developed lymphedema four years after her double mastectomy and reconstruction. Her doctors told her it likely came from a recent, extensive overseas travel trip. She wants other women to know more about the problem and how to prevent it. In Houston, plastic surgeons at M.D. Anderson have developed methods to resolve or eliminate lymphedema when caught early. Here’s a good video on their approach.
WWJ, the CBS radio affiliate in Detroit, interviewed Kathleen and is carrying this story today: http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2015/02/10/working-on-breast-cancer-book-photo-journalist-faces-own-diagnosis/