Symptoms of lymphedema
As for breast cancer, Lymphedema early detection increases the chance of successful treatment. Early detection can be difficult, however, because early symptoms are often subtle. A change of only 2 centimeters or approximately 3/4 in. of the circumference of the arm may suggest a Lymphedema develops, but you may not notice this change.
If you work with a doctor or a physiotherapist who has not experienced with Lymphedema, it may tend to minimize your symptoms, especially if they appear to be relatively minor. You know your body better. If you think that there is reason to worry, find your way to someone with the appropriate training and expertise for diagnosing lymphedema.
Symptoms to look for include:
- achiness, tingling, discomfort, or increased warmth in the hand, arm, chest, breast, or underarm areas
- feelings of fullness or heaviness in the hand, arm, chest, breast, or underarm
- tightness or decreased flexibility in nearby joints, such as the shoulder, hand, or wrist
- “bursting” or “shooting” pain sensations, or pins and needles
- tenderness in the elbow
- slight puffiness or swelling in your arm, hand, chest, or breast, with a temporary indentation of the skin when you press on it with your finger (this is called pitting edema)
- veins or tendons in the hand are harder to see, or once-wrinkled skin looks younger or smoother
- trouble fitting the arm into a jacket or shirt sleeve that fit wellbefore
- noticing that the two sides of the back look different in size (asymmetrical)
- difficulty getting watches, rings, or bracelets on and off
- changes in skin texture or appearance, such as tightness, redness, or hardening
- rash, itching, redness, pain, or warmth of the skin
- fever or flu-like symptoms
It is never a good idea to wait for the symptoms to see if they get worse. As time passes, it is that the lymph will be accumulated in the tissues. Therefore, Lymphedema may cause lasting damage, including changes in the appearance of the branch and the skin. Treatment it is likely to take more of your time and energy you’d know if you get assistance at the first sign of distress.
Lymphedema happens usually gradually. However, some women have reported that their swelling came suddenly. If you ever encounter sudden severe swelling which means that your hand, arm or other part of the body seems to ‘jump’ a larger size in a day or two, see your doctor immediately. This could mean you have an infection, a clot of blood (also known as deep venous thrombosis) or recurrence of cancer that affects the lymphatic system.
Signs of lymphedema
Common early signs of peripheral edema include the following:
- An arm or leg starts feeling full or heavy.
- The arm or leg starts to look swollen.
- When press the swelling, it leaves a dent.
- clothing or jewelry starts to tight and uncomfortable.
- The skin near the edema tight or warm.
- It becomes harder to move any joints that are affected.