Trunkal Oedema

Trunkal Oedema
This can occur secondary to recurrent cancer, or following surgery and radiotherapy to the chest or lymph nodes that drain the chest in cancer treatment. It can affect the chest, back abdomen, buttocks.

This is not uncommon after breast cancer treatment and the removal of lymph nodes in the axilla as the area into the chest below the armpit and below the shoulder blade drain to these lymph nodes.

It may present as feelings or tightness and swelling into area which may be permanent of fluctuate. This swelling may be visible or obvious from indentations from clothing such as bras. There may also be sensation changes such as a feeling of heaviness, aching or pins and needle (although some of these changes can be the temporary effects of surgery or radiotherapy).

Treatment can include:
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage
  • Simple Lymphatic Drainage- a self massage technique
  • Medical Taping
  • Skincare – keeping skin well moisturized to prevent breaks in skin
  • Lymphatic Exercises – to increase muscle pump activity (drainage of tissues) and reduce swelling
  • Assessment of bra and correct bra selection and fitting
  • Specially designed compression garments may be required.

For assessment and a prescribed treatment talk to a Lymphoedema Therapist - visit the Lymphoedema Therapist page on this site for more information.