Swelling, also called edema, happens when fluid builds up in body tissues.
Swelling is a common side effect of many breast cancer treatments:
Other medicines you may be taking during treatment, including pain medications, bisphosphonates (bone-strengthening medications), and steroids also can cause swelling.
If the swelling is severe, accompanied by pain, or if your arm starts to swell after surgery (which could be a sign of arm lymphedema), talk to your doctor right away. This type of swelling could be a sign of infection or other serious condition and needs to be treated as soon as possible.
If your swelling is mild, try these tips to ease it:
Elevate the swollen area. If possible, raise the swollen area above your heart. This reduces the flow of fluid into the swollen area.
Avoid standing for long periods.
Wear loose clothing so fluids can flow easily out of the swollen area.
Don’t cross your legs when sitting.
Avoid salty foods. Salt can make you retain fluid.
— Last updated on February 22, 2022, 7:51 PM