Are you a breast cancer survivor? If you are and have had a mastectomy, then you need to be sure to avoid certain treatments. A mastectomy alert bracelet could prevent any further injury or even save your life if you are ever in a medical emergency.
Lymphedema is a side effect of the surgery and radiation treatment for breast cancer. The affected arm is prone to chronic swelling when any of the underarm lymph nodes are removed.
When the lymph nodes are removed during surgery for breast cancer, the lymph node’s normal drainage in the arm is disrupted. This causes a higher chance for fluid in the arm to build up, resulting in 10-20% of survivors to develop this side effect. Patients will feel like their hand or arm is very tight, which is caused by the fluid buildup between the tissue in that area.
Medical Treatments with Lymphedema
Treating the arm that is affected could have serious side effects by either triggering lymphedema or making the current condition worse. Treatments that can affect it include any injections, drawing blood, taking blood pressure, and several other medical tests.
Patients can take certain actions to help reduce and prevent lymphedema. Doctors give their patients instructions to do specific arm exercises that are designed to help. Keep your skin moisturized daily to keep it supple. Wear protective gloves when working with anything that could irritate the skin or put stress on the arm, such as washing dishes.
Avoiding certain actions can help prevent this side effect, which includes not lifting, pulling, or pushing with the arm that is affected. Also avoiding any repetitive movements can help. Don’t use hot water for showers and baths, instead sticking to warm water. Don’t wear anything tight-fitting around your chest or arms. Live a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating well, exercising regularly, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
Mastectomy Alert Bracelet
Survivors of breast cancer who have undergone a mastectomy should always wear a mastectomy alert bracelet on the arm that is affected. Even if you do not currently have lymphedema, it is still important to wear one in case a treatment triggers it.
The bracelet will notify healthcare professionals of your condition should you be involved in an accident or other medical emergency where you cannot speak. Every second counts in an emergency and they often do not have time to look up your medical history. With an alert bracelet, they will know to avoid performing certain tests on that arm, or to at least to use caution.
There are all kinds of mastectomy alert bracelets for sale on the internet. Different designs are available, so there is something for everyone, from gold heart and leather bracelets to stainless steel mesh and silicone bracelets. They are easy to order online and have them delivered right to your door.