1887

n Health SA Gesondheid - "Just live with it" : having to live with breast cancer related lymphedema

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Abstract

An exploratory qualitative research approach was selected for this study aiming to explore how people living with breast cancer related lymphedema experience this complication. Unstructured interviews were conducted with nine purposively selected participants. Living with breast cancer related lymphedema was not easy. Participants were not informed of the possibility of developing lymphedema and felt let down by the medical professionals they consulted. They had to face the physical, psychological and practical consequences without the continuous support of a knowledgeable therapist. Managing the lymphedema was a challenge as they could not afford the necessary treatment and the self-care items. In addition, treatment failure resulted in them feeling exploited and using various treatment options. Nurses should maintain a high level of suspicion of breast cancer related lymphedema, assess patients for lymphedema and refer them to a therapist specifically trained in the management of this debilitating condition.

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/content/health/21/1/EJC186730
2016-01-01
2016-12-03
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