Lymphedema Related to Breast Cancer TreatmentName : Dr. Tanja Dobrijevic
Affliation : Certified Lymphedema Therapist
University : Get on Track Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre
Country : United Arab Emirates
Abstract: Lymphedema is a serious complication that involves the accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the interstitial space.Lymphedema is common after treatment for breast cancer,especially for those patients receiving axillary lymph node dissection. Up to 40% of the women treated for breast cancer had lymphedema.Currently,there is no cure for this chronic condition.Even more distressing is that women who treated for breast cancer are facing a life-time risk of developing lymphedema.
This condition may affect the quality of life of treated patients. Breast surgery, node dissection and radiation therapy are factors that decrease lymphatic drainage and increase stasis of fluid in the areas of skin and subcutaneous tissues that drain to regional lymph nodes.
Breast cancer related lymphedema can involve the arm and hand, as well as the breast and trunk on the operative side. Clinical symptoms, assessment and volumetric measurements are widely used to evaluate lymphedema.Treatment for lymphedema related to breast cancer consists of two phases. First phase include manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging, exercises, skin and nail care and home care. Second phase is a maintenance phase and include wearing of compression garment for day and night, manual lymphatic drainage-follow up and infection prevention.
Tanja Dobrijevic is a Certified Lymphedema therapist by Foldi College in Hinterzarten, Germany (2015). Her main interest is cancer related lymphedema,mostly rehabilitation and patients care after breast cancer and prostate cancer surgery and therapy. Using techniques of manual lymphatic drainage and complete decongestive therapy,Tanja successfully treats even the most severe cases. She is spreading awareness about lymphedema among doctors, professionals and patients .In the past few years she had many presentations and case studies about lymphedema and lipedema and tried to make it more recognizable in society.
Her next goal is to form Lymphedema support group in Dubai, which would help many patients going through the treatment. For Tanja, the well-being of her patients is very important. She also gives them self-care suggestions related to her diverse background in health care.