Emphasizing that the most important treatment is to prevent the disease, Physiotherapist Yeşim Ergen said, “Lymphedema can develop in a short time and can manifest itself after years. Therefore, patient education at stage 0 (the patient in the risk group) is very important. Because every person who goes through the diagnosis or treatment process of breast cancer is at risk for this ailment, ”he said.
According to the statement made by the World Health Organization (WHO) Cancer Control unit regarding last year’s cancer statistics, it was stated that breast cancer, which reached 11.7 percent among total cancers, for the first time exceeded lung cancer, the most common type of the disease, on a global scale. This situation shows that the risk of diseases that develop simultaneously with breast cancer increases. The most important is Lymphedema disease, which occurs as a result of removal or damage to lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment. The proper functioning of the lymphatic system, which is very important for keeping your body healthy, is of great importance.
The aim is to lower the swelling first and then to prevent it from happening again.
Physiotherapist Yeşim Ergen pointed out that lymphedema or lymphatic obstruction is a long-term condition in which excess fluid accumulates in the tissues and causes swelling (edema). “As with any disease, early intervention is of great importance. Because swelling in the arms or legs decreases the quality of life of people. If precautions are not taken, you may have difficulty doing even simple daily activities such as walking and holding in the future. Therefore, the biggest treatment is to prevent disease. Patient education is very important in stage 0 lymphedema (patient in the risk group). It is explained what the patient can do to prevent lymphedema and what he should pay attention to. If swelling develops, the patient should start treatment without delay. The treatment to be applied in a patient who develops lymphedema is complex draining physiotherapy. In this treatment method, the first aim is to reduce the patient’s edema and the second aim is to prevent swelling again ”.
Two-stage treatment plan is applied
Giving information about the treatment of the disease, Ergen said: “In the first stage, the fluid accumulated between the tissues with manual lymph drainage is transferred to healthy lymph nodes and it is aimed to help the fluid balance in the body. With manual lymph drainage, lymph flow is accelerated and pressure is applied. Balanced pressure adjustment is very important in bandages made using special techniques. Thanks to the bandaging, lymph system activity, which is activated after manual lymph drainage, is preserved. Other parameters are the exercise program and skin care, which are specially prepared for the lymphedema patient and will support lymph flow with the help of a muscle pump. The second stage is passed after lymphedema has descended or the maximum descent is achieved. The treatment is terminated with a personal compression garment prepared according to the patient’s size.