“Just live with it”: Having to live with breast cancer related lymphedema
An exploratory qualitative research approach was selected for this study aiming to explore how people living with breast cancer related lymphedema experience this complication. Unstructured interviews were conducted with nine purposively selected participants. Living with breast cancer related lymphedema was not easy. Participants were not informed of the possibility of developing lymphedema and felt let down by the medical professionals they consulted. They had to face the physical, psychological and practical consequences without the continuous support of a knowledgeable therapist. Managing the lymphedema was a challenge as they could not afford the necessary treatment and the self-care items. In addition, treatment failure resulted in them feeling exploited and using various treatment options. Nurses should maintain a high level of suspicion of breast cancer related lymphedema, assess patients for lymphedema and refer them to a therapist specifically trained in the management of this debilitating condition.
Hierdie studie ondersoek die belewenis van mense met borskanker verwante limfedeem. ‘n Kwalitatiewe eksploratiewe navorsingsontwerp is gekies en ongestruktureerde onderhoude is met nege doelgerig gekose persone gevoer. Limfedeem kompliseer die lewe en die proefpersone het die nie maklik gevind om daarmee saam te leef nie. Hulle is nie ingelig oor die moonlikhied om limfedeem te ontwikkel nie en was van mening dat hulle deur die medici wat hulle behandel het in die steek gelaat is. Die proefpersone moes die fisiese, psigologiese en praktiese gevolge van limfedeem sonder die bystand van ‘n kundige terapeut te bowe kom. Die hantering van die limfedeem was ‘n uitdaging aangesien hulle nie die behandeling en self-sorg artikels kon bekostig nie. Die slegte resultate van behandeling het tot gevolg gehad dat die proefpersone uitgebuit gevoel het en ook verskillende behandelingsopsies gevolg het. Verpleegkundiges moet ‘n ho€e vlak van bewustheid ten opsigte van limfedeem handhaaf, pasi€ente hiervoor beraam en na ‘n terapeut wat in limfedeem spesialieer verwys.
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