Lymphedema and breast cancer

Written by: Dra. Rocío Merino Sanz
Published: | Updated: 14/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

The lymphedema is a difficulty of lymph drainage in the limbs. Lymph is a fluid that circulates through the blood vessels and is part of the lymphatic system and the difficulty in drainage often leads to a increased limb volume.


Causes of lymphedema in patients with breast cancer:

Several factors related to the appearance of lymphedema:

1. The e xtirpacion axillary node: The greater the number of lymph, lymphedema most likely

2. The association of treatment Radiation armpit level increases the risk of lymphedema.

3. The extension of the local surgery

4. Delayed healing of the surgical wound.

5. Tumors causing invasion of lymph thoracic and cervical lymph

6. Pathological Scarring of lymphatic channels because axillary radiotherapy treatment cn or infection.

7.- Obesity at the time of surgery

The appearance of lymphedema in breast cancer patients depends largely receiving treatment. Patients who have suffered lymph node biopsy are more likely to develop lymphedema, while those who have been subjected to the technique of sentinel node often suffer lower percentage.

The incidence varies between 8 and 56 % at two years of surgery. It depends on the other factors we have mentioned previously.


Treatment of Lymphedema

Treatment must be directed by a lymphedema specialist, usually physiotherapists. The most effective measure is the Manual lymphatic drainage, where linfoterapeuta perform massage for lymphatic drainage to divert lymphatic vessels unaffected by cancer.

Thereafter, patients should wear a sleeve compression as it must be renewed every six months.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection
Dra. Rocío Merino Sanz

By Dra. Rocío Merino Sanz
Vascular Surgery

Dr. Merino is a specialist in Angiology and Vascular Surgery. He has over twenty years of experience. He currently runs his private clinic in dealing comprehensively venous disease and diabetic foot.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection