When it comes to breast cancer treatment, radiation can seem like a walk in the park compared to major surgery and months of chemotherapy. For me, it was a breeze. I had already survived a lumpectomy and chemotherapy before my turn at radiation. I’d endured hair loss, nausea, low blood counts, fever, two hospitalizations, and a blood transfusion. Radiation couldn’t – and didn’t – even compare. But it’s still quite a process, and what follows will shed some light on how you might breeze through radiation. It’s all quite do-able – if you know what to expect. Preparation for Radiation If your doctor has prescribed radiation as part of your treatment plan, preparation is key. Radiation is a detailed, precise process that aims to kill cancer cells in the breast while sparing healthy cells in the same area. It’s administered by a machine that accelerates charged particles and shoots them at a target that generates photons. Photons travel...
Q. I definitely want to avoid lymphedema. Is there anything I can do to ward it off, or is lymphedema totally random? A. The very best thing you can do to help prevent lymphedema is to make sure you get full range of motion back in your arm, whether after surgery or radiation. Favoring the arm on your affected side, hunching your shoulder protectively, being too stiff to stretch your arm up over your head and around towards your back–these are all things that will make it easier for lymphedema to gain a foothold. I have a friend who’s a physical therapist specializing in lymphedema treatment. In fact, we became close as she gave me daily massages to relieve my own swollen arm. (Just as getting a tummy tuck is the silver lining of a tram flap reconstruction, a daily massage is the big plus of having lymphedema!) This friend says that women who’ve had surgery, particularly a mastectomy with lymph node removal (even if just a single node) need physical thera...
Although most people immediately think "headache" when they think of a Migraine, there are many times when some of the accompanying symptoms are as severe and debilitating as the headache, if not more so.
One of those symptoms can be neck pain. Until fairly recently, neck pain was often overlooked as a Migraine symptom. In 2010, a study showed that it's more common in Migraine than nausea. You can find more information about this in Neck Pain as a Migraine Symptom .
Beyond the obvious pain, when neck pain occurs during a Migraine, it impacts Migraineurs in other ways:
Its presence on the day preceding Migraine is associated with treatments not working as well.
Neck pain is predictive of Migraine-related disability, regardless of Migraine frequency and severity.
Presence of neck pain during a Migraine is associated with delayed treatment of Migraine attacks.
You can read more about this in Migraine Treatment Delayed by Neck Pain .
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