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Coping with Lymphedema Paperback – April 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

More than 100 million people around the world suffer from lymphedema, a painful, chronic swelling of the limbs and, sometimes, other areas of the body. At least five percent of women who undergo lymph-node surgery for breast cancer treatment will experience it. Written by a breast cancer survivor and a nurse, Coping with Lymphedema fills a definite need, with facts about diagnostic tests; manual lymph drainage and complete decongestive physiotherapy (CDP); medications, including antibiotics, steroids, and benzopyrones; compression garments; and experimental treatments, including acupuncture, biofeedback, meditation, and herbal medicine.

The authors also debate the merits of various lymphedema therapists, from chiropractors and physiatrists to osteopaths. There's also plenty of information about natural diuretics, important nutrients, helpful exercises for reducing pain and increasing mobility, and methods for handling depression and self-image troubles. More than 100 resources and lists of phone numbers for support groups in most states further the usefulness of this clearly written, comprehensive reference.

From Library Journal

Lymphedema is a chronic disorder of the lymph system causing the naturally occurring lymph fluid to accumulate as "swelling that can make an arm, leg, or other body part as much as two, three, four, or even more times its normal size." It does not discriminate by age or gender and can be congenital or acquired. It can also be a complication in postmastectomy or postlumpectomy cancer patients. Physicians frequently underestimate its occurrence and fail to educate patients in terms of prevention. Many doctors also lack the depth of knowledge needed to prescribe effective therapy. Swirsky, a nurse, and Nannery, a lyphedema patient, have combined their talents to write a much-needed, highly readable, detailed explanation of lymphedema, its complications, and its treatment?including diet, garments, pumps, manual lymph drainage therapy, and exercise. An extensive list of therapeutic resources, support groups, and readings as well as guidelines on choosing a lymphedema therapist are included. Recommended for all public libraries and hospital consumer health collections.?Lisa McCormick, Jewish Hosp. Lib., Cincinnati
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Avery Publishing Group; 1st edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895298562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895298560
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #687,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Although I commend the authors for addressing an issue that no one else has been able to address through this venue, I find it to be lacking in much information concerning Lymphedema of the lower extremities. While it is true that survivors of breast cancer are at risk for the development of lymphedema those with lower extremity lymphedema have been strugging with it for many years. In other words, lymphedema is not new on the scene. The book adequately addresses the issue of LE in relationship with BC but leaves barely touches on the remainder of the population with LE. I did not enjoy the book and did not find it at all helpful.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis Zehr (pbkb77a@prodigy.com) on August 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book confirms what took many hours of searching on my own time to comprehend the complications and control of lymphedema, a medical condition I was not forewarned might develop following breast surgery. I highly recommend this book to any person facing surgery and/or radiation involving lymph nodes as well as anyone who currently has lymphedema.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bucky VINE VOICE on December 5, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, anyone who is looking for books on lymphedema will find out fast that books on lymphedema are kind of like treatments for the the disorder: mighty few and far between. Of all the available books, this one is the best of a thin, thin crop. There are chapters on the origins of lymphedema, symptoms, the (few) treatments, diet and exercise, coping and other life issues. And while they are very informative, as other reviewers have pointed out, the authors do focus heavily on upper limb lymphedema. Readers with lower limb lymphedema get tossed a bone of info targeted to their needs every now and then, but the primary emphasis of this book is on lymphedema as the result of breast cancer treatment. Still, readers with lower limb lymphedema can take most of the info in this book and apply it to their own situation. This book is better than nothing, which is pretty much what will be available should this book go out of print. It's a pity that a disorder that affects so many people is virtually ignored by the medical and publishing communities.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Bill Norwood on January 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
THE BOOK: 1998; 286pp; 450 resources listed (products, info, practitioners, researchers, schools, support groups); 122 glossary entries; 52 references; ~800 index entries. 43 recommended books listed: Lymphedema(2), cancer(7), general medical(3), alternative medicine(15), diet and nutrition(10), self-help(3).

LYMPHE-WHAT?

Primary (hereditary) Lymphedema (1-in-6000)...may involve blocked/oversized/underdeveloped lymph vessels. More common secondary Lymphedema results from disease/other trauma.

Grade1: Lymphedema often begins with pitting edema - tissues swell due to excess fluid. Small indentations form when pressing with a finger.

Grade2: Lymphedema is chronic, and elevation may no longer help. The skin no longer pits, but hardens as fibrous tissue develops. Thick, coarse skin may ulcerate, and bacteria may enter and bring on extremely painful cellulitis, a soft-tissue skin infection.

Grade3: Lymphedema may be established by repeated attacks of cellulitis as underlying tissue hardens.

DIAGNOSTIC METHODS: tape measure; magnetic resonance imaging; Doppler MRI, lymphangioscintigraphy, color flow Doppler

WHAT INCREASES LYMPHEDEMA VULNERABILITY?

-other family affected

-malformation of veins

-mechanical injuries to lymphatic system

-obesity

-infections impacting lymphatics

-other-leg Lymphedema

-vein surgeries

-lymph node removal

-surgery/treatments...
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "duncanone" on July 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was very helpful to me. I have had lymphedema for 30 years, and because it is such a rare disorder, it has been impossible to find much information about it. The book exposed many treatment options that I was unaware of previously. Thank you, Joan and Diane, for doing such a wonderful job on the book. I know your book has a limited audience, but we need the information desperately.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book gave some helpful hints on dealing with the emotions I was having when my arm swelled after treatment for breast cancer, but seemed to say I was just going to have to learn to live with it. In spite of a good resource section, the book left me depressed and feeling hopeless. I have since found another book I use as a "how to" guide and I am managing the selling very well. If you are like me, "Coping with Lymphedema" may not be the most helpful book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol Arnold on October 30, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives you a great overview of what Lymphedema is and it gives you great advice from those who have Lymphedema and how they coped with it. Some doctors do not recognize the condition at first butonce you know what you have, get this book. It will prepare you for what your options are as far as treatment and maintenance once you get it under control. It explains how you will never get rid of the condition but it is controllable. It answers so many questions that you think of after you are told that you have Lymphedema.
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