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Edema Management

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Edema, also called swelling, can be caused by different types of cancer treatments and other non-cancer conditions.

 
Our Supplemental Sheet

This sheet is available to download as an Adobe PDF.

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EDEMA MANAGEMENT ORAL CHEMOTHERAPY EDUCATION Edema, also called swelling, can be caused by different types of cancer treatments and other non-cancer conditions. Edema may look or feel different for each person. Some examples include: o Swelling in the feet, ankles, or legs o Swelling in the hands or arms o Swelling in the face or abdomen o Skin changes—puffy, shiny, or looking dented after being pressed o Shortness of breath There are many ways to treat edema. Your care provider may prescribe medication to treat edema, but there are also many ways to lessen edema through diet and activity. Ways to prevent or lessen edema: o Wear loose clothing and shoes that aren’t too tight. o Prop up the swollen body part as high as comfortable when resting. o Move the part of your body where edema is present. o Limit salt in your diet. Avoid processed foods (e.g., canned soup), foods high in salt (e.g., chips, bacon, ham), and adding salt to your food. Check food labels for sodium content. o Maintain proper water intake. • Drink 6 to 8 “8 oz” glasses of water or other non-caffeinated beverages per day, unless otherwise instructed by your healthcare team. • Ask your care provider if limiting your fluid intake is needed. o Ask your care provider if magnesium supplements may be good for you. o Ask your care provider if compression stockings may be good for you. Contact your care provider if you have recently had surgery and think your swelling may be related to lymphedema (swelling from changes in lymph node drainage) or if you experience any of the following: o Changes in your heartbeat o Sudden worsening of swelling o Have not passed urine for a day or more o A change in the look of the swelling (red, hot, or one-sided) o Gained more than five pounds in a week Additional instructions Important notice: The Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA), National Community Oncology Dispensing Association, Inc. (NCODA), and Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) have collaborated in gathering information for and developing this patient educational supplement. This summarized information represents a brief summary of supportive care information and other resources. This supplement does not cover all existing information related to the possible directions, doses, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks associated with specific medication or adverse events and should not substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Provision of this supplement is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or imply endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of this side effect management by ACCC, HOPA, NCODA, or ONS, who assume no liability for and cannot ensure the accuracy of the information presented. The collaborators are not making any representations with respect to the clinical information presented whatsoever, and any and all decisions, with respect to such patient management, are at the sole risk of the individual consuming the medication. All decisions related to education and managing adverse events should be made with the guidance and under the direction of a qualified healthcare professional. Permission: Supplemental Oral Chemotherapy Education (OCE) sheets are provided as a free educational resource for patients with cancer in need of concise, easy-to-understand information about cancer topics and adverse event management. Healthcare providers are permitted to copy and distribute the sheets to patients as well as direct patients to the OCE website for information. However, commercial reproduction or reuse, as well as rebranding or reposting of any type, are strictly prohibited without permission of the copyright holder. Please email permission requests and licensing inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.

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