Lymphedema & Breast Cancer

Lymphedema Therapy

Cancer treatments may cause lymph fluid build up and swelling, know as lymphedema. It frequently occurs in patients who have had surgery and radiation for breast cancer. Although lymphedema can not be cured, it can be controlled with the right care and treatment.

What kinds of problems can an oncology physical therapist help with?

People who go through their cancer treatment journey can be left with physical problems such as pain, scar tissue, swelling, fatigue, and more. These problems can make it hard to get back to your daily life and the things you love to do. 

Physical therapy can help to address the following problems:

  • Post surgical pain
  • Scar tissue /Radiation Fibrosis
  • Post-mastectomy care
  • Balance problems / falls
  • Lymphedema
  • Osteoporosis 

What is lymphedema?

Cancer treatments may cause lymph fluid build up and swelling, known as lymphedema. It frequently occurs in patients who have had surgery and radiation for different types of cancer. It frequently occurs in the hand/ arm or chest in women who have had breast cancer. It can also occur in the legs after treatment for cancers in the pelvis or abdomen.

Sometimes, lymphedema can be the result of problems with how the lymphatic system developed. This is more rare.

Although lymphedema can not be cured, it can be controlled with the right care and treatment.

What are common symptoms of lymphedema?

People with lymphedema often notice the following signs and symptoms in their arm or leg:

  • Swelling of part or all of your arm or leg, including fingers or toes
  • A feeling of heaviness or tightness
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Aching or discomfort
  • Recurring infections
  • Hardening and thickening of the skin (fibrosis)

How is lymphedema treated?

Through hands-therapy and education, our certified lymphedema therapist, Samantha Steele can help patients with lymphedema. As part of lymphedema therapy, patients learn how to independently manage the condition through training in self-lymphatic massage, compression bandaging and skin care.

Physical Therapy for Breast Cancer

Physical therapy during and after cancer treatment can help to rebuild function while decreasing anxiety and increasing a sense of hope and control. Cancer care physical therapist, Samantha Steele can help rebuild muscle strength, improve flexibility and reduce fatigue.

What if I still have questions about whether physical therapy is right for me?

Schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with physical therapists Samantha Steele to determine if physical therapy is right for you. We can talk about your concerns and what treatments we can offer to help you meet your goals.

Schedule your free consultation by emailing physicaledge@gmail.com.