Lymphoedema and Holidays abroad?

I developed Lymphoedema in my left arm even before my Chemo, Mastectomy or Radiotherapy as the Cancer had spread to the Lymph Nodes. I wear a compression sleeve every day. I haven’t been on holiday since diagnosis in October 2009 and wondered if anybody has any hints or tips on dealing with the heat, sun and flights etc.?
Many thanks xxx

Hi Lynberi

Whilst you wait for the other users to reply with their knowlege and experiences you may fine it useful to read the BCC publication on lymphoedema. If you would like to order a copy or read this on line, just use the link below:-

I hope you find this helpful

Best wishes Sam, BCC Facilitator

Hi Lynberi
I too got Lymphodema straight away pretty much I have it in right arm & breast, I wear sleeve everyday all day until bedtime, I have been away just once to Cyprus but am going to Lanzarote in 2 weeks, I wore sleeve on flight to help keep swelling down, cover your arm when its too hot, wear your sleeve as much as possible while you are away, I took mine off for a while on the beach but put on as soon as back to hotel , beware of being stung/bitten on your arm and do not get sunburn on the bad arm either , I am asking my DR for some anti biotics to take with me just incase wether he will give them to me is another matter , My arm did swell a little while I was away due to the heat but it seemed to settle once I got back ok, so fingers crossed for this hoilday
Good luck hun have a lovely break x

Thanks Sam, I have read the booklet but it’s always great to hear from someone who’s been there, done that. That’s the beauty of this forum which has been my “New best friend” and amazing support since I was diagnosed. x

Thanks lottie63,
Thanks so much for your reply.It’s all such a pain and the thought of wearing the sleeve when it is so hot doesn’t appeal but I’m so concerned about my arm swelling more. My hand swelled just in the heat here last week! Have a great holiday and thanks again xx

I wear a sleeve & gauntlet all day. We went to Turkey last October and I kept the arm in the shade most of the time, but ‘bare’ and wore the sleeve evening and night. It was a bit worse whilst there, but returned to normal levels when I got back…

my best friend wanted me to go to Sri Lanka with her, but that’s too humid for me…looking foradryheat!

I’ve had lymphoedema for almost 10 years now and manage quite well. I don’t wear a sleeve all the time as the swelling is mostly on the upper arm, chest wall and neck and a sleeve pushes the swelling further up. I do wear my sleeve for gardening, housework and always when travelling - either by car or plane. My lymphoedema nurse also showed my husband how to do the massage - I have her monthly - so he is quite able to massage the arm if it gets a bit more swollen. Heat does not seem to affect it too badly and I have found that swimming - which I do a lot - is really good for it. I always take antibiotics with me, just in case, and I am very careful about any injuries/bites on that side - the suitcase is full of medication LOL! I’ve had a lot of foreign holidays and as I now have seeondaries, will carry on travelling for as long as I can.

My GP has given me anti biotics to take away with me phew ! Hopefully they wont be needed but nice to know they are there just incase , Im also taking anti histermin tabs, low dose aspirin, tamoxifen, paracetamol, oh the joys lol but I am just happy that I can go on holiday , this time last year I was finishing chemo … enough said
Love to all x

Hi Ladies
Got back from Lanzarote yesterday, very hot ! Just to let you know Lymphodema arm pretty good , kept sleeve on in villa , took off at beach and covered arm in factor 50 , wore sleeve for flights and when not on beach/in pool and tbh it dosent seem much bigger if at all so anyone travelling to hot countries if your careful you can go without sleeve for short periods , nice not to have it on in photos i have to admit, good luck to all you travellers , oh and anti biotics were not needed phew !!


Thanks everyone for your advice. I returned home yesterday from a holiday to Italy and France and my arm behaved quite well. It has got a little bigger as my sleeve is more difficult to put on but the hot clammy weather here doesn’t help. I kept my sleeve on all day and evening but didn’t sleep in it and had a new one to wear on the flights. All in all not as bad as expected though now I have a very fetching white arm with a brown shoulder and hand! I also took Antihistamine tablets and cream and also a supply of Antibiotics but thankfully didn’t need them. I also religiously put Insect repellent spray on my hand and shoulder that were exposed.
Thanks again and happy holidaying to everyone xxx