Simple lymphatic drainage

I have recently finished chemo and radiotherapy and am now on herceptin. I developed mild lympoedema in my right arm a couple of months ago and have been given a compression sleeve. I am keen to learn how to do simple lymphatic drainage, but staff at the lymphoedema clinic are not sure that it would be appropriate for me to be taught that when I am still having active treatment (ie the herceptin), on the basis that it would encourage the movement of lymph around the body and any rogue cancer cells might spread. I am a bit confused by this as I am being encouraged to exercise, which I assume would also encourage the movement of lymph. I took advice from a lymphodoema organisation, which said that once chemo and radiotherapy was over it was probably ok to do the massage. I am interested to hear about the experiences of other people who have lymphoedema and are on herceptin.


I was diagnosed in December 06 and had WLE, ANC, chemo, radiotherapy a year of Herceptin and have been on Aromasin since July 07.

I developed lymphoedema in my affected breast about four months after surgery i.e. in April 07 while still on chemo. I asked about MLD and SLD and was told that the lymphoedema might settle down and disappear and to wait until after chemo and radiotherapy were finished.

I finished radiotherapy in July 07 and because I still had the lymphoedema I went ahead with the MLD (and was taught SLD) in Nov 07 while I was still only halfway through the course of Herceptin. No-one seemed to think that still being on Herceptin was any reason to delay the MLD.

Good luck and best wishes
Anthi x

Hi Anthi
Thanks for your comments on this - it backs up my thoughts and will be useful knowledge at my next clinic appontment!
All the best