Lymphoedema Risk Factors

The combination of two or more of the following conditions increases the risk of developing Lymphoedema after breast cancer surgery:

  • cancer and or removal of lymph nodes
  • radiation treatment
  • venous disease (bulging veins or removal of them)
  • surgery
  • infection
  • obesity
  • immobility
  • air travel
  • mosquito bite

(Source: Lymphatic Yoga Expert)

I refused radiotherapy on this basis, a slightly controversial decision but one I believe was right for me given the grade of my cancer.

Unfortunately however I am one of those people who is susceptible to mosquito bites, so I have taken quite a few precautions on that front (installing mosquito nets on my bedroom windows, carrying repellent and antiseptic wipes and burning citronella candles during the summer months).

As far as air travel goes, I am still very reluctant to get on a plane because of the associated risk. How much of a real risk it is no one really seems to know. It has been suggested that cabin pressure and general immobility during flight are the factors involved but the jury is out on how much the altitude contributes to it and if the wearing of compression garments (as a preventative measure) is advisable or not. Until I know more its one risk I wont be taking.

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