Lymphoedema is a common side affect after cancer surgery and radiation therapy. It can appear months or even years following cancer treatment. Lymphoedema is the build up of large amounts of protein-rich fluid (called Lymph) which results in swelling in one or more limbs of the body. It often occurs when the lymphatic vessels or nodes have been damaged after chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.
It can’t be cured, but it can be reduced and managed with appropriate physiotherapy care. Treatment for lymphoedema is called ‘complex decongestive physiotherapy’ and is aimed at reducing swelling through specialised massage, bandaging, compression garments, exercises and skin care. The earlier it is assessed, diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.
Total Physiocare has a physiotherapist who specialises in the management of lymphoedema following cancer treatment. Anna has over 15 years experience in this specialist field of physiotherapy.
Although there is no way to know for sure whether you will develop lymphoedema after cancer therapy, you can certainly help yourself minimise the risk of developing it. After your one on one session with Anna, will leave you with:
- Extensive knowledge about the risk factors and early symptoms for the condition
- Have a baseline measurement of your limbs to enable you to make comparisons if you start to notice symptoms in the future.
- Know the three best techniques to avoid developing lymphoedema
The early detection and management of the condition can significantly reduce the long-term physical, functional and psychological effects caused by late diagnosis and poor management of the condition.
Our experienced Lymphoedema Physiotherapists will be able to assist with assessment and treatment. (*Available at Camberwell & Footscray)