Post mastectomy lymphedema cleared naturally
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
Josephine had a radical mastectomy after her breast cancer diagnosis four years prior to seeing me. The lymph nodes under her armpits were also removed because they had found some spread of cancer after node biopsy. The surgery was followed by a course of chemotherapy and some radiation to other parts of her body where they found some ‘spots’.
After the completion of her treatment regime, Josephine was tested and found to be clear of any malignancies, but she was left with on-going issues of lymphedema especially in her arms. They were swollen with fluid as the lymphatic system could no longer do its job properly in that area of her body.
Apart from the lymphedema in her arms, Josephine also had blocked lumpy nodes in her groin. These were checked to be non-cancerous, and were possibly blocked up from the toxicity of her treatment.
Josephine had been doing self-massage taught to her by her physiotherapist which helped to a degree. She came to me to see if there was anything else that could be done to support her lymphatic system and to ensure that she had a diet as healthy as possible to try to avoid any further cancers.
With her diet, we focused on eliminating harmful foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, additives, most grains (except rice), processed foods, caffeine and alcohol. Her diet comprised of healthy anti-inflammatory fats & proteins from wild caught fish, avocados, coconut products, nuts and seeds, as well as heaps of healthy vegetables with loads of greens and some low sugar fruits like berries and papaya. I also encouraged Josephine to drink plenty of purified water with a squeeze of lemon or lime to help her liver and lymphatic system.
A few weeks into the diet, Josephine found that the massages were working much better, the lymphedema in her arms went away, and the nodules in her groin area also dissolved. She felt the diet played a big role, particularly as previous results from massage were limited.