Frequently Asked Questions

There are several things to consider before starting breast cancer care. Here are common questions we receive and links to other resources. Please click on each question for the answer.

Treatment Information

Lovelace Women’s Hospital has licensed dietitians available for individual consultations and/or group education sessions. Our dietitians are available to discuss a variety of topics related to nutrition and cancer and can help you create and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Call 505.727.6900 to schedule an appointment.

Lymphedema is a protein-rich swelling that occurs when lymph fluid does not drain properly and creates congestion. It can occur in the arm, chest, breast and on the side of the upper back after breast surgery and other breast cancer-related treatments.

20 to 30 percent of breast cancer patients are at-risk for developing lymphedema. Risk factors include:

  • Higher quantity of lymph nodes removed
  • Additional cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy
  • A Body Mass Index of over 30 percent

Lymphedema usually develops in the first five years after treatment, but can occur at anytime over a lifetime. Risk reduction practices should be practiced at all times.

Call 505.727.4657 to speak to our Lymphedema Therapy Clinic about your risk factors.

Compression garments prevent fluid from pooling in your lymph nodes and come in different strengths depending on the patient’s needs. They can be used to prevent or treat lymphdema.

It is very important to have a properly fitted sleeve to achieve the desired effect. A certified lymphedema therapist is most qualified in determining the proper compression strength and type of garment.

Call 505.727.4657 to speak to our Lymphedema Therapy Clinic about compression garments.

Certified lymphedema therapists can be occupational therapists, physical therapists or other clinical specialists that have advanced training to treat lymphedema or those at risk for lymphedema. Their unique training allows them to determine the safest treatment techniques for breast cancer patients during rehabilitation and for lymphedema treatment.

Certified lymphedema therapists have the credentials “CLT” after their name. Some therapists will also have the credentials “LANA” after their name. This is an additional certification from the Lymphology Association of North Association that indicates they meet the minimum standards for the treatment of lymphedema.

Lovelace Women’s Hospital Outpatient Therapy has two certified lymphedema therapists. Call 505.727.4657 to schedule an appointment.