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Topic: Flying for the 1st time

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Jun 11, 2018 09:47PM

tlgio17 wrote:

Hello ladies, I had mild lymphadema this year after radiation (had a right mastectomy back in Dec 16). I had 5 nodes removed total. I have a sleeve and glove but have not needed to wear it at all in the past 6 months. Getting ready to fly for the 1st time w my son and wondering if i should wear the sleeve/glove anyways or not. We will have one flight of about 3 hours and another of an hour or so with a break in between of an hour or so.

Appreciate any suggestions.

Thank you,

Traci


Dx 10/23/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/6/2016 Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/11/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 7/31/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 11, 2018 11:33PM Billb464 wrote:

hi, we just got back from vacation and had a 3.5 hour flight there and back. I didn’t wear the sleeve or glove on either flight, but did have it with me in my carryon bag just in case. I know that everyone has different reactions, so it’s hard to tell what will happen. The PThad a measurement done b4 I left for my trip, of my arm fluid and then when I came back , really no change. Good luck!

Dx 8/6/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 8/23/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/9/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 1/10/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 3/1/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 12, 2018 02:31AM Denise-G wrote:

tlgio17 - there is contrary info on this subject as we have already seen here. But my encounters with two women before I had full-blown lymphedema, made me tell everyone to wear your sleeves when flying.

The first woman was my radiation RN who came into my appointment wearing a sleeve. She was 18 years out from lymph node removal when she flew 4 hours from Ohio to Arizona without a sleeve and bam, full-blown lymphedema.

The second woman I met in the waiting room at my large cancer center. She had only 1 node removed and had no trouble with lymphedema after 3 years from node removal. She had a ONE HOUR flight, did not wear a sleeve, and bam, full-blown lymphedema.

My lymphedema therapist said that you should continue wearing your sleeve after the flight for as long as your flight was - 2 hour flight, wear sleeve throughout flight and 2 hours post flight

I can never quite understand why women don't want to wear a sleeve while flying to protect themselves. Trust me, wearing a sleeve for a 3 hour flight is much easier than wearing one every day for the rest of your life! Sorry, it is summer, my sleeve is hot, and my arm is really, really swollen today because I did a little gardening yesterday! My lymphedema anger and frustration comes out! Can't hold it in some days! LOL

www.denise4health.info my BC Blog with over 200 informative posts - stop by and say hello! Myself, my mom, and sister were all diagnosed with BC within 3 years. What a ride! Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 9/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 11/23/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 12/27/2011 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/28/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 10/11/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 12, 2018 02:58AM ksusan wrote:

My lymphedema therapist said that you should continue wearing your sleeve after the flight for as long as your flight was - 2 hour flight, wear sleeve throughout flight and 2 hours post flight

Mine amends this to add "...within reasonable limits." Flying for 12 hours doesn't require 12 hours' wear afterward, though we really know so little about LE and flights that's not anecdotal.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 12, 2018 07:42PM tlgio17 wrote:

Thanks ladies, I will prob err on the side of caution and wear it to just to be safe. I have been looking forward to a real vaca ever since my DX so I dont want anything getting in the way.Happy


Dx 10/23/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/6/2016 Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/11/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 7/31/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 14, 2018 07:10AM Jennie93 wrote:

If you have a sleeve and glove/gauntlet that fits well, or have enough time before the trip to obtain them, it certainly can’t hurt to wear them, and you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you did everything possible to prevent future problems. I’m sure you know all the other recommendations, i.e. stay really well hydrated, move around as much as possible, do the fist-pump exercises, etc. etc.



49 at dx. Found on routine mammogram. Complications: cording, truncal LE. Dx 8/2012, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 4/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/5/2012 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/16/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/24/2013 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/23/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2015 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 14, 2018 08:03AM SummerRain wrote:

I had a trip last month. My lymphedema specialist and my doctors said to get the sleeve, glove, and the swell spot. Put them on an hour before the flight and leave them on for two hours after landing.

During the trip sometimes we would have elevation changes of 7000 feet in a very short time, so I needed to wear them on those days, too. I am glad I did.

Strength from within! Dx 9/20/2016, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 10/19/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 12/11/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 6/11/2017 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 14, 2018 11:58AM - edited Jun 14, 2018 12:18PM by Traveltext

I've never worn a sleeve during a flight in the four years since my full axilliary clearance.My flights can be as long as 20 hours. My friend gets a mosquito bite and he develops full-blown LE. It's a bit if a crap shoot, it seems.


NED breast and prostate cancer. More on Male BC

Dx 03/14, IBC, Lgth. 2cm, Stge IIIB, Gde 2B, ER+/PR+, HER2- ; FEC x3, Taxol x3; Mx & 2/23 nodes; Rads x 33; now on tamoxofin.

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Jun 14, 2018 12:11PM LivM wrote:

I flew on a 14 hour flight 8 days after surgery. I didn’t have any problem. Didnt have to wear a sleeve.Got 3 nodes out.

Dx 5/11/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 5/31/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary
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Jun 14, 2018 04:35PM amygil81 wrote:

Traci, I already have moderate LE, mostly in my lower arm, hand, and fingers. I don't fly much, and LE is one reason why. Whenever I do fly, I always wear full bandages from armpit to fingertips. I wrap up in my house before I leave for the airport, and leave them on until I get where I'm going. Then I take the bandages off, shower, and go back to my regular regimen, which is sleeve and glove during the day, bandages at night. If I arrive near bedtime, I'll leave my bandages on overnight and take a bath so I don't get them wet.

Be careful to consult trained and knowledgeable professionals and follow their advice. LE is not something that you want. Hope this helps.

Osteosarcoma in left leg at age 13. DCIS in left breast at 33. IDC recurrence in left chest wall at 42. Dx 12/2000, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR- Surgery 12/9/2000 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Dx 12/2009, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIB, 3/10 nodes Surgery 12/17/2009 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 1/10/2010 CMF Chemotherapy 5/30/2010 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/30/2010 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall
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Jun 14, 2018 04:41PM gb2115 wrote:

I have a sleeve and gauntlet for flying, but haven't worn them yet since I have not flown. My CLT said to not wear them for the first time on the actual flight but to try them out ahead of time. How long is long enough to try them out? I have no plans to fly, but you never know. I'm afraid that the sleeve will <<give>> me lymphedema that I don't have (I have a tad of truncal that is pretty well controlled), but I'm not sure it's a valid fear. She did check the fit of the sleeve when we got it.

Dx IDC in October 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes. Mammaprint low risk luminal A, Lumpectomy + radiation + tamoxifen. Age 38 at diagnosis.
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Jun 16, 2018 04:47PM Canela wrote:

I think about this all the time. I've never had any lymphedema symptoms, and by surgeon seems to think there's nothing to be done unless I have symptoms, but to date I've missed a cousin's wedding and my nephew's First Communion because I didn't want to risk flying, Both events happened fairly recently after surgeries so I used those surgeries as the reasons, but honestly, it was fear of getting lymphedema. I do want to start traveling again, though. Should I wear compression on flights? Will wearing compression when I don't have lymphedema cause any harm?

Dx 2/23/2017, DCIS/IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 3/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 3/16/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/26/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 9/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 16, 2018 08:24PM ksusan wrote:

I don't have lymphedema. I was fitted for sleeves and gauntlets and wear them for flights over an hour, heavy yard work, and my dance class if I have any swelling for any reason (like hot weather). There's no research that shows this to prevent lymphedema, but it has been the consistent recommendation of every medical provider except my surgeon (who said "you won't get lymphedema," a statement that can't be supported). However, I've had several friends who developed lymphedema after shoveling or raking, and possibly after a flight. One person knew she was doing heavy yard work without sunblock or a sleeve, but kept going and had a month-long LE flare.

For exercise or other exertion of the arms, the recommendation is to build up gradually, stop what you're doing if it begins to hurt (in other words, no "feel the burn!" business), and to alternate different uses of the arm. I'm about to go outside to garden. That means sunblock and long gloves to prevent damage to the skin, and rotating my activities (15 minutes shoveling holes, a short break and some water, then 15 minutes of planting).

It's hard to sort out, but I'd rather do something that may be preventive. If nothing else, it provides the peace of mind of knowing I did what I could.


Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 16, 2018 09:57PM Jojobird wrote:

I’ve been on multiple flights now, the longest was two consecutive three hour flights. Have been at high altitudes and I run, lift weights, have even been cut. I have had slight swelling that went down quickly (from flying), but that’s it.

I’ve never worn a sleeve. 21 modes removed and still kicking.

Best wishes to you.

My blog: pinkstinks.blog/ Dx 3/2016, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 21/21 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 4/2018, IDC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/27/2018 Taxotere (docetaxel), Xeloda (capecitabine) Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 17, 2018 03:16PM Wildcolonialgirl wrote:

Appreciate the insights here everyone.  I haven't flown since mastectomy in January, but prior to that regularly traveled by air.  Will be getting back to that schedule next month, and I have ordered a sleeve.  My team hadn't discussed the gauntlet - can anyone share a little more information?  My first flight will be 2 1/2 hours, but then in August we're doing a long-haul, 8-plus and then another 2, so I am definitely planning on wearing whatever may help avoid LE.  I've only had 2 nodes removed - one SN during mastectomy and then an enlarged one 2 weeks ago.  

Thanks so much.

Dx 1/2018, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 1/25/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Chemotherapy 2/28/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 17, 2018 09:28PM Melrosemelrose wrote:

Wildcolonialgirl- Here is a link to the Step Up Speak Out Lymphedema website which may provide you more information about LE. http://www.stepup-speakout.org

When flying, I wear a sleeve and a hand gauntlet and make an effort to exercise my arm during the flight. I use hand squeeze ball and do a series of arm exercises/flexing. There is some discussion about whether to wear a hand glove or gauntlet when wearing a sleeve on the Step Up Speak Out Organization website. The rationale for wearing the hand gauntlet with the sleeve is to help prevent the possible fluid buildup in the hand/fingers that may occur from wearing only a sleeve.

As you will discover, deciding whether to wear a sleeve/hand gauntlet/hand glove is very personal choice. Safe travels.



Chemo 4/24/2012Taxotere/Cytoxan X 6 & Herceptin B-47 clinical trial:4/24.5/15.6/5/,6/26,7/17.8/7. DX 2/17/2012 Encapsulated DCIS 4cm/IDC 2cm, ER+/PR-/HER2- (+1), Stage IIb, Grade 3,0/5 Nodes Surgery 2/14/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 3/13/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 4/23/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/23/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 9/5/2012
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Jun 18, 2018 04:26PM SummerAngel wrote:

For those without Lymphedema, my LANA-certified PT does not recommend gloves or sleeves for patients like me (few nodes, no radiation, normal weight). She said that there is no definitive evidence, but in her experience wearing them when you don't have Lymphedema can actually trigger it. (This is not the advice given to those who already have it, of course!)

I've flown quite a few times since my surgery. So far the longest flight was 4 hours. No problems. I'm flying to the UK next month, a direct flight that's 9 hours. I have no intention of wearing anything for those flights, either.

Age at dx: 45. Oncotype, left-side tumor: 9. Right side had multifocal IDC and "extensive" LCIS. Isolated tumor cells in 1 right-side node. Dx 4/3/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/1/2015 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/27/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/3/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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Jun 18, 2018 04:43PM Wildcolonialgirl wrote:

Thanks for the advice, Melrosemelrose and SummerAngel - Definitely going to discuss it a bit more with my onco team and request a meeting with the lymph specialist.  

Dx 1/2018, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 1/25/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Chemotherapy 2/28/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 22, 2018 09:13PM tlgio17 wrote:

Hi fellow fighters, just wanted to report back now that we are home safe and sound. I did end up wearing the sleeve and glove for the flights just to avoid any issues in case. Wasnt super comfortable but got over it and was happy not too have much swelling. I did notice my ring was tighter on that hand so thinking if I had not worn it, it may have been worse. Good luck for anyone else traveling!!


Dx 10/23/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/6/2016 Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 1/11/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 7/31/2017 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2017 Arimidex (anastrozole)

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