Skin changes after cancer

Several skin changes can occur after cancer treatment. These skin changes are caused by radiation, chemotherapy and the removal and / or damage of lymph nodes. In our practices, we regularly see patients with skin changes after treatment for one of the following cancers:

  • Breast cancer
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Cervical cancer and ovarian cancer

Skin changes can also occur in other cancers that have had lymph nodes removed, chemotherapy / radiation applied, or a surgical scar made.

Various skin changes after cancer

Fluid build-up / lymphedema

In the treatment of cancer, it is examined whether there are possible metastases via the lymphatic system. Tumor cells can “walk” to the nearest lymph nodes, for example in the armpit or groin. With these metastases, it is necessary to control the cancer and remove the lymph nodes.

When lymph nodes have been removed or sometimes even after radiation alone, the flow of lymph fluid is obstructed and fluid is left behind. This fluid buildup is called lymphedema. The edema sometimes develops immediately after the operation, but can also only manifest itself after months or even years.


Tumors can be removed in cancer treatment. For example, in breast cancer, part or all of the breast is usually removed to remove the tumor. Scars are created by the surgical removal of tumors. These scars can become attached to the subcutaneous tissue (adhesion). This adhesion can cause pain and movement restrictions.

It is therefore necessary to keep the scar as flexible as possible after surgery and to reduce / prevent pain and movement restrictions. Scars can be treated through scar therapy.


Fluid build-up / lymphedema

Fluid build-up can be treated by edema therapy. It is advisable to measure a therapeutic elastic stocking in order to prevent moisture build-up and to maintain the result.


Scars can be treated through scar therapy.

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