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Lymphedema is a common complication of radiation and surgery for head and neck and breast cancer. I experienced such lymphedema myself and greatly benefited from lymphedema reducing therapy. There is a Website that enable anyone to find a local therapist that can work on lymphedema. A link to it is available on my lymphedema blog at

I hope this is helpful.
Itzhak Brook MD
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yes, you are so right. they called me a poster boy on what can be done thru lymphedema reducing theraphy.

seems like i had meat hanging all over the place in the lower face and neck areas after my surgery. i was taught the hand finger exercises which are simple and worked wonders.

when i was in for voice prosthesis change-out the other PT guy who taught me the techniques just happened to see me and went running for his camera and asked for permission to use my pics. before and after.

twice a day for maybe 3 or 4 months almost gave me a new face......
Hi there

I can thoroughly recommend lymphodoema treatment. I was given some last year to alleviate slight swelling in my neck - self massage followed by manual lymphatic drainage.

It was so nice to receive a pleasant treatment after surgery and radiotherapy and it really does help to soften the neck tissues and get rid of the 'woody' feeling that you get after radiotherapy.

Hi Pete (long time no speak!)and Wendy
I was interested in Dr Brook's post when I first saw it the other night and gave the link details to my friend. She had breast cancer and a mastectomy in July 2009 and has just developed lymphedema after all this time. I thought it happened right away if it was going to.
Her arm is huge and very uncomfortable but she can't get in to see anyone for ages. I know her surgery was very different to your own (!) but can you point me in the right direction for some information that may help her, please?
Thanks in anticipation
PS Hope you're feeling better, Pete.
Hi Debbie, sorry to read your friend has Lymphoedema. I'm afraid its considered a lifetime threat following Mastectomy/Lymph node removal, & even after 5yrs I am very careful how I treat my R) arm, & always wear a Lymphoedema bracelet when out in the car.
I've sent you a scanned copy of the leaflet I was given post op. Hope you can read it & it helps. Fran.
Hi Deborah

My Macmillan cancer specialist nurse suggested the lymphatic treatment whilst I was at a routine appointment in the head and neck clinic a while ago.

By the time I received my first appointment it was approximately a year after finishing the radiotherapy treatment. To be quite honest I didn't know what all the fuss was about as I really didn't think there was that much swelling in my neck. However, by the time I had finished all the massage treatments I could really see a big improvement in my neck area.

I believe that the swelling can be a late side effect so it probably wouldn't occur straight away. I have a neighbour who had a mastectomy and gets horrendous swelling in her arm and always has to wear a special sleeve to get some relief from it.

Hello Fran
So lovely to hear from you and thanks for the leaflet. I'm having a bit of trouble reading it but will get around that and pass along any info.
I knew about lymphedema and since I had thought my friend was lucky to have escaped. Turns out she knew nothing about it and is very upset (understandably)to have a setback like this when things were just starting to pick up a bit for her. It's disgustingly hot at present too which isn't helping any.
I hope you and Brian are keeping well.
Glad you've had success with your treatment, Wendy and hope all is well for your friend too.
Hello , i am Anke , and the wife of John , my late husband. John, passed away last year, November, which i s very sad i am grieving. The fact is John ,had straight after his Surgery and cancer treatment, Lymphedema, John had trouble with that, but had never been referred to an Lymphedema Clinic.

Our keyworker , the Head /Macmillian Nurse, was not much bothered about it. In fact , no one was , apart from John and myself. We have got two children.

John , died becuase of his breathing problems .
The hospital claimed , in case John's heart stops /or the breathing gets worse, i knew they would not perform an CPR , and even mentioned in John's medical notes.
Well, this is lie.
I got now Solicitors invovled against the Hospital.

You may like to reply , Anke

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