Know the Signs of Lymphedema

Fern Taylor of Delton wears a compression sleeve and glove on her right arm. Taylor suffers from lymphedema, causing fluid to build up her arm after having lymph nodes removed from her breast. Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette

Mark Bugnaski / Kalamazoo Gazette

Lymphedema is a condition involving the lymph nodes that occurs after surgery. While treating breast cancer lymph nodes may be removed, damaged or disturbed, leading to the potential for lymphedema to occur. Women should be aware of the signs and symptoms of lymphedema as they can manifest several years after surgery. If you notice any of the following, see your doctor right away:

Hair loss and breast cancer

headcovers during chemotherapy
Blue scarf on the top left & colourful scarf on top right are designed by Kristina Zsj Silks. Rest of the scarves are the model’s own.

Hair loss is one of the side effects that women may experience while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Many women say that the loss of hair is one of the most difficult things to deal with.

Dragon boat racing

dragon-boat-swim-prosthesisDragon boat racing is a Chinese tradition involving a large canoe-like vessel (38 feet or longer), often decorated to resemble a dragon and typically propelled by a large crew with paddles. It is said to represent the struggle against nature and the fight against deadly enemies.

Breast Prosthesis for Breast Asymmetry

Breast Asymmetry (having different size breasts) is not unusual for women and is often addressed with a padded bra or breast prosthesis. Sometimes this occurs naturally and may become more pronounced later in life. Slight differences in breast size can usually be managed by wearing a padded bra. If the bra has removable padding, the padding can be removed on the fuller breast side and left in place for the smaller breast side.