ANC and long haul flight

Hello! I had right ANC in August… so far no problems although I am scared so very careful with how I use my arm. Now I am going on a long haul flight (16 hours in all, with a stop without leaving the plane). Do I need to take any precautions with my arm? if so, which?
I am also planning to wear those white hospital knee high socks since I was told a cancer diagnosis increases your risk of blood clots… but I’ll also wear medium support tights as usual (mostly because otherwise I feel cold on the plane). Should I wear the white ones on top? Thanks in advance for your help. I’ll contact my BCN tomorrow but it is difficult to get hold of her and I am leaving this Thursday.

Hi Nikiya

BCC have published information on reducing the risk of lymphoedema and you can read these via the following links:

Best wishes

hi nik
i had ANC march 06 & flew to oz ( my daughter was living there) in jan07 & again in aug 07
like you i was v careful with my arm (ie permantly aware of risk of lymphoedema!)
i got myself measured by my BCN for a sleeve which i wore while flying plus kept my arm up as much as poss, did exercises (discreetly!) & made & unmade fists to keep everything moving!
plus kept arm covered in sun when there
and all was well both times! and still fine!
altho just had other side ANC dec09, due to new dx!
my daughter living in england now…phew!
good luck enjoy your trip!
love jk x

Thanks Lucy and Kath! Kath, I am sorry to hear you needed another ANC! Hope everything is alright now! I am going to contact my BCN tomorrow but I’m afraid there is not much time and in my experience things go at a stately pace in the public sector… does any charity provide those sleeves?
Also, can you recommend an insect repellent? I have just remembered about mosquito bites!!

hi nik,

I too wore a sleeve when I did a long haul last year, but I already have mild lymphoedema in my hand so am a patient at the lymphoedema clinic already. Kath’s advice about exercises is good.

As for insect repellent - I remember being told to get some with a certain amount of the active chemical in it - it might have been 50% DEET but I’m not sure now. Anyway they do it at Boots - the weaker stuff comes in a yellow/orange container, the stronger stuff in a grey/silver one. The strong one is the one to get.

Don’t forget to take plenty of sun cream.

Thanks RR!Unfortunately don’t have a Boots nearby… will see if my local Sainsburys stocks some of that. As for sun, I’m not going on holidays so no beach exposure… will wear sunscreen when outside though…
Now is sunburn which is dangerous or just any amount of sun??

Hi all

Hope you don’t mind me joining in…I’m on holiday in NZ - hence my lack of posts, so I’ve just done what’s being talked about here.

Nonny (hope you don’t mind me copying it and reposting it here, Nonny) wrote this a little while ago about Activa sleeves on another lymphoedema thread on this site:

‘Just thought I’d jump in on this one. I had a bilateral mastectomy and full axillary clearance on the right side followed by radiotherapy on that side including the axilla. I asked my Breast Care Nurse about lymphoedema and she gave me the name ‘Activa Support’ which I looked up on the Internet. I had read advice about wearing a support sleeve when flying and when doing activities such as ironing, lifting and gardening. Having had Chemotherapy I was already at a higher risk of DVT so always wore travel socks as I do a lot of flying (internal as well as Europe, not long haul) I thought it would be a good idea to get fitted. I saw my GP and he agreed with me and referred me to our Lymphoedema Clinic where I was told they did not supply sleeves as a preventative measure, you have to wait until you have already developed lymphoedema! So I got measured (you can download the instructions of how to take measurements and the sizes and types of sleeves from Activa website) and purchased my own sleeve from Lloyds Chemist, £28.68 I think it was. I don’t want lymphoedema and will do all I can to prevent it’.

Or, if you can get to see a private lymphoedema therapist ( will enable you to find your nearest), she might be able to order a sleeve for you that will arrive in time. My last order from Haddenhams came only two days after the order was placed.

I’ve never found that flying has particularly aggravated my lymphoedema, but then I’ve always had a sleeve to wear on flights. My biggest problem this time was sleeping. Lymphoedema sleeves aren’t meant to be slept in and as I had my arms bent, they got very painful around the elbow.

LIke kath12, lymphoedema forum recommends lifting your arm in the air at frequent intervals and making a fist. Also, even rolling your shoulders and flexing your calves muscles will help to keep the lymph moving, as will deep breathing.

I’d also recommend avoiding an aisle seat if taking one would put your arm at risk of knocks from passers-by. You might also find that a small (inflatable) pillow to support your arm might make it extra comfortable. Drinking plenty of fluid is always helpful.

Lots of mozzies in NZ - Avon ‘Skin-so-soft’ also seems work for me.

Hope you have a lovely time.