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Re: [IP] A friend needs help -- diabetes, and now breast cancer

   I've forwarded your e-mail to a friend who is an extremely brittle 
diabetic AND had breast cancer 2 years ago, which is how we "met" in cyber 
space at the AOL breast cancer board. Although my own diabetes knowledge is 
"second-hand" from my daughter, my breast cancer knowledge is most definitely 
"first-hand"...and YES, your friend is correct. Once the lymph nodes are 
removed for "staging" purposes & determination of the course of treatment, 
that arm is considered "at risk", even 20 years later, for developing 
lymphedema. From what I've heard from those so afflicted, THAT condition is 
even worse than the cancer treatments. The good news though is that the 
"state of the art" in top-notch medical centers is to do a "sentinel node 
biopsy" which is a very abbreviated version of the axillary node dissection & 
thus precludes all the precautionary notes you mentioned, because it's far 
less invasive.
   But for myself, and most BC survivors, the rule is "no injections, no 
blood pressure, no gardening without gloves, no clipped cuticles, etc" 
forever after on the affected arm!! Some women are scrupulous about adhering 
to that, others, myself included, are not as vigilant. As for finger sticks 
for bg checks, I know that my daughter only ever uses one hand anyway, so 
that might be an option. 
   Obviously, your friend's first priority is taking care of the cancer. 
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