Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. According to Cancer Research UK (2011), the lifetime risk of developing it in the UK is 1:8 for women and 1:1014 for men. Approximately 20% of these patients develop secondary lymphoedema of the arm following treatment for breast cancer.
Lymphoedema is defined as tissue swelling due to the failure of lymph drainage. After breast cancer a person may experience psychological or emotional difficulties due to altered body image, and a swollen limb can exacerbate this. Research suggests that survivors with lymphoedema are more likely to suffer psychological and emotional difficulties, be more disabled, and experience a poorer quality of life than survivors without the condition.
Improved breast cancer survival rates suggest that approximately 2:3 women survive the diseas beyond 20 years.This means that more people are living longer with this debilitating side effect for which there is currently no cure.
Lymphatic drainage massage (MLD) is used to treat conditions other than lymphoedema, and RLD may be used similarly.
(MLD) is used to treat conditions other than lymphoedema, and RLD may be used similarly.