Monday, 9 June 2014

Breast Cancer FOLLOW UP

This comprises of a clinical breast examination and general physical examination for every two to three months during first year, every 4 monthly during next two years, 6 monthly in third and fourth years followed by yearly check up. Investigations such as chest X ray, USG abdomen, blood investigations, mammogram can be done on yearly intervals or a on advise of the physician.
Side effects can appear later such as swelling of the ipsilateral arm and is known as  lymphedema and can develop right after surgery or months to years later. One should practice regular arm, shoulder exercises as directed by your physician to prevent this.

You will need to protect your arm and hand on the treated side for the rest of your life:
By avoiding tight clothing or jewelry on your affected arm, carrying your purse or luggage with the other arm.

Useing an electric razor to avoid cuts when shaving under your arm
Have shots, blood tests, and blood pressure measurements done on the other arm
Wear gloves to protect your hands when gardening and when using strong detergents
Have careful manicures and avoid cutting your cuticles
Avoid burns or sunburns to your affected arm and hand
You should ask your doctor how to handle any cuts, insect bites, sunburn, or other injuries to your arm or hand. Also, you should contact the doctor if your arm or hand is injured, swells, or becomes red and warm.

If lymphedema occurs, the doctor may suggest raising your arm above your heart whenever you can. An elastic sleeve should be worn to improve lymph circulation. Medication, manual lymph drainage (massage), or use of a machine that gently compresses the arm may also help. You may be referred to a physical therapist or another specialist.

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