Cording (axillary web syndrome) can happen weeks or months after any type of breast surgery. It is caused by hardened lymph vessels and feels like a tight cord running from your armpit down the inner arm, sometimes to the palm of your hand. You may see and feel raised cord- like structures across your arm, chest or breast which may limit how you move. Doing gentle stretching exercises the first weeks after surgery can help, or try massage, physiotherapy, or low-level laser treatment by a lymphoedema practitioner. Cording usually improves over a few months.
Podcast: Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis
A/Prof Elisabeth Elder, Specialist Breast Surgeon, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and The University of Sydney, NSW; Collette Butler, Clinical Nurse Consultant and McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Cancer Support Centre, Launceston, TAS; Tania Cercone, Consumer; Kate Cox, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Marcus Dreosti, Radiation Oncologist and Medical Director, GenesisCare, SA; Dr Susan Fraser, Breast Physician, Cairns Hospital and Marlin Coast Surgery Cairns, QLD; Dr Hilda High, Genetic Oncologist, Sydney Cancer Genetics, NSW; Prof David W Kissane AC, Chair of Palliative Medicine Research, The University of Notre Dame Australia, and St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, NSW; Prof Sherene Loi, Medical Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Dr W Kevin Patterson, Medical Oncologist, Adelaide Oncology and Haematology, SA; Angela Thomas, Consumer; Iwa Yeung, Physiotherapist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD.
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