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Lymphedema Preventive Measures Checklist

Lymphedema Preventive Measures Checklist

Tips to manage lymphedema effectively

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  • Being obese can increase your risk of developing lymphedema. Talk to your cancer care team about what is a healthy weight for you
  • Keep skin and nails clean and cared for, to prevent infection
  • Cut toenails and fingernails straight across to prevent ingrown nails and infections
  • Use cream or lotion to keep the skin moist
  • Watch out for small cuts such as paper cuts or breaks in the skin and carefully monitor them till they are healed. An antibacterial ointment can help
  • Avoid needle sticks of any type into the arm with risk for lymphedema
  • This includes talking to your nurse or cancer care team about shots or taking blood for tests in the affected arm
  • Use a thimble for sewing
  • Avoid testing bath or cooking water using the limb with lymphedema as there can be altered sensation in the affected limb resulting in burns
  • Wear gloves when gardening and cooking
  • Use sunscreen when outdoors
  • Wear only loose jewelry and clothes without tight bands or elastic
  • Do not carry handbags on the arm that has had lymph node removal in the axilla
  • Do not use a blood pressure cuff on the arm where you have had lymph node removal
  • Do not use elastic bandages or stockings with tight bands
  • If you have lymphedema, keep the arm with lymphedema raised higher than the heart when possible

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