[to top of second column]
Along with a skin inflammation, Manalo diagnosed lymphedema -- Holman's arm was just starting to swell. Daily for two weeks, she underwent what's called complete decongestive therapy, where a machine massaged fluid from her arm and it then was tightly bandaged to counter swelling. Once her arm shrank, Holman was prescribed a lifelong therapy: A tight elastic sleeve and fingerless glove to wear regularly, especially during her job as an international flight attendant, plus arm exercises to help push out returning fluid.
"I'm trying to stay ahead of the game," says Holman, 61. "You can't cure this, but you can manage it."
Paskett's study -- now recruiting participants at Ohio State, Georgetown and a growing number of other hospitals -- tests whether milder versions of those techniques could prevent lymphedema in the first place. Women recovering from a large node removal are randomly assigned to either a regimen including personalized arm exercises, or just lymphedema education.
Results aren't due until 2012. Meanwhile, cancer groups advise:
Be alert for subtle swelling. Don't ignore a tight ring or watch, or clothes suddenly not fitting.
See a certified lymphedema specialist, who has proper training in fitting compression garments and proper use of decongestive therapy. Improper use of either can worsen the condition.
Obesity and arm injuries are additional risk factors. So watch your weight; avoid injections in the affected arm; clean cuts and seek care for infections promptly; wear gardening gloves and oven mitts; and avoid temperature extremes, such as hot tubs.
On the Net:
National Lymphedema Network:
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Recent articles
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor