The condition can develop at any time (after surgery). That's about 40-50 years! It is a chronic, lifelong condition that may worsen over time if left untreated.
All breast cancer patients who have had an axillary lymph node dissection should avoid injury or infection in the affected arm: sunburn, heavy lifting (I've been told more than 30 lbs unassisted from other arm), constriction or blood drawing, or infection of the affected arm or hand.
Effective treatments include specialized massage (complete decongestive physiotherapy) and elastic pressure sleeves. << these DO work, btw