When and if lymph nodes have to be removed in the course of breast cancer treatment, lymphedema is a persistent aftereffect that must be treated and cared for following surgery, sometimes for many years.
Special guest and lymphedema specialist Christine Galione, MSPT, CLT is a physical therapist and expert lymphatic massage practitioner at Scripps Memorial La Jolla who has been helping breast cancer patients with lymphedema therapy since 2004.
Christine helps us understand what the lymph system does, how it functions, and the issues that can arise after removing them, including:
- What cording is and how they treat it
- When to wear (and not wear) compression sleeves
- How to get back to regular exercise and weight lifting
- Helpful tips for with air travel
- Tips for ensuring your lymphatic massage is covered by insurance
Although it can be very scary for some people, Christine assures us that lymphedema is treatable, and the sooner you can get to therapy the better.
See the illustration of the lymph system mentioned by Christine in this episode
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Meet Kristen’s doctors: surgical oncologist Dr. Louis Rivera, hematologist and oncologist Dr. Sonia Ali, plastic surgeon Dr. Salvatore Pacella, and radiation oncologists Dr. Anuradha Koka and Dr. Kenneth T. Shimizu.
About Breast Cancer Stories
Breast Cancer Stories follows Kristen Vengler, a 56 year old single empty nester in San Diego, from her diagnosis of hormone positive breast cancer through chemotherapy, mastectomy & breast reconstruction, radiation, and whatever happens after that.
In 2020, Kristen moved from Austin to San Diego to be near family and start her life over after a life-shattering workplace trauma. A few months later she had that terrifying moment in the shower we all hope we never have.
From her breast cancer diagnosis, through chemotherapy, breast reconstruction, and radiation, we experience each new milestone as it happens. This podcast is about what happens when you have breast cancer, told in real time.
Host and Executive Producer: Eva Sheie
Co-Host: Kristen Vengler
Editor and Audio Engineer: Daniel Croeser
Theme Music: Them Highs and Lows, Bird of Figment
Production Assistant: Mary Ellen Clarkson
Cover Art Designer: Shawn Hiatt
Breast Cancer Stories is a production of The Axis.
PROUDLY MADE IN AUSTIN, TEXAS