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Post cancer diving

Discussion in 'Women's Community Forums' started by carlaguardiola, Apr 17, 2019.

  1. carlaguardiola

    carlaguardiola Garibaldi

    # of Dives:
    Location: cozumel
    I was working as a dive instructor when I had cancer. Now my doctors says that I shouldnt lift heavy objects to avoid lymphedema but none is able to tell me if I can continue teaching or only dive for fun (assisted by someone else)
    Does anyone knows or has experienced this?

    I have been treated with chemeotherapy and then a mastectomy and radiotherapy .
  2. Kimela

    Kimela Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: St Louis
    Have you checked with DAN?

    I don't have any personal knowledge to share, but I would assume that good self-care is in order. Hoping for your continued improvement.
  3. Bratface

    Bratface Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: South Florida
    I have mild lymphedema and wear a compression sleeve. I haven’t returned to diving yet (I'm eight months postop and a cold water wimp). I wonder if I need the sleeve while diving.

    As far as exercise, my lymphedema therapist said to wear one while exercising and flying. You should also avoid injury to your arm and hand. I suspect a glove might be helpful.
    lavieafond likes this.
  4. HalcyonDaze

    HalcyonDaze Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Miami
    I would be curious to know what DAN's answer to that question is. I have a friend who hasn't been on SCUBA in a long while but used to snorkel and surf; last year she had a pretty serious case of acute lymphoblastic leukemia that was treated with chemo, blincyto, and a marrow transplant that hopefully put the boot in it for good. It would be great to get her back in the water.
  5. uncfnp

    uncfnp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    Wishes for a speedy and complete recover.

    As to your questions. Address both the potential risk post radiation and chemo, implants and lymphedema...

    DAN | Medical Frequently Asked Questions

    I don’t see the publication date but at least a place to start in your search for answers.

    Here’s some others

    Ask DAN: Can I Dive After Breast Cancer?

    Breast Cancer Survey — DAN | Divers Alert Network — Medical Dive Article

    Can diving benefit the health of breast cancer survivors? - DIVER magazine

    Alert Diver | Returning to Diving

    It’s been a few months since the initial post. Perhaps the op will respond with their progress.
  6. michael-fisch

    michael-fisch Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Germany
    Whatever you end up doing, have someone else do the Emergency Swimming Ascents with your group of students, you body doesn't need that multiple compression/decompression stress. Wearing a tighter neoprene top with full sleeves is probably also a good idea.
    Years ago I was cave diving and deco diving with a friend a few months after her mastectomy, chemo and radiation treatments.
    It was good for her and we had lots of fun for a few months, unfortunatly her treatment was too conservative and didn't cure her.
    I hope and pray that you are still diving in 5 years.
    Anke, I still miss you!

  7. lavieafond

    lavieafond Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    I was just scouring the internet for answers on this question. None of my doctors really even know what I'm asking since they have no clue about the physiology of diving. I'm primarily trying to understand lymphedema since I had a meeting with a PT today (pre-double mastectomy; no radiation; no tamoxifen; no chemo). She happens to dive a bit (not as much as I do - I'm at 300 recreational dives in 8 years and I live in the mountains of Colorado...), and suggested I should just always wear a compression sleeve now whenever I fly or dive. Ugh. They will take one sentinel node. If they find more during my surgery, then I'll want to understand the risks associated with radiation and chemo.

    But my main thought here is that the DAN articles I've read are all the same and most are quite old and fairily generic. I wonder if DAN could be interested in exploring the subject further and more in depth than they did in the mid-2000s when the initial recycled article seems to have been published? I have the impression that many women who have had breast cancer treatments are diving again. And ALL of us have to be concerned about lymphedema down the line.

    And all the best to the OP - I hope you are back to diving now.
  8. HalcyonDaze

    HalcyonDaze Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Miami
    The other thing that I noticed is that the majority of those are for breast cancer specifically; while that is the OP's concern as stated I have a friend recovering from leukemia. I'm not even sure if lymphedema is an issue there; I stopped asking pesky medical questions of her around the time they started with the heavy artillery to prep for the marrow transplant.
  9. carlaguardiola

    carlaguardiola Garibaldi

    # of Dives:
    Location: cozumel
    Thank you all forma the information provided..... I hace been back to the water doing fun dices. I thought it was the best to stop teaching, safer for me and muy students
    Being back in the water is Great!!!

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