Lymphedema occurs when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. Fluid builds up in soft body tissues and causes swelling. It is a common problem that may be caused by cancer and cancer treatment.
Lymphedema is a problem that may occur after cancer surgery when lymph nodes are removed. Lymphedema can occur months or years after treatment. But steps can be taken to help keep it from starting, and to reduce or relieve symptoms.
What is lymphoedema? Symptoms of lymphoedema 3. What causes lymphoedema?
If you're struggling to find what you need, call our Support line on 7 days a week, 8am-8pm. Sometimes cancer or its treatment can damage or block lymph nodes or vessels. Or doctors may need to remove the lymph nodes completely during treatment. This makes it is harder for lymph fluid to drain.
Skip to Content. Lymphedema is the abnormal buildup of fluid in soft tissue due to a lymphatic system blockage. The lymphatic system helps fight infection and other diseases by carrying lymph throughout the body.
Lymphedema can be a hereditary condition, although this is very rare. More commonly, an injury to the lymph nodesor ducts is the cause of lymphedema. Breast cancer treatment often requires surgery, axillary lymph node dissection or radiation therapy.
Lymph is a milky fluid that contains white blood cells. White blood cells help fight infections. Lymph vessels, like blood vessels, run all through the body.
Lymphedema is an abnormal swelling that can develop in the arm, hand, breast, or torso on the side where your lymph nodes were removed. This is called the affected side. Lymphedema develops when the lymph vessels in an area are no longer able to carry all the fluid away from the area. If this happens, the fluid can build up and cause swelling.
Find out about lymphoedema after breast cancer treatment, including how you can lower your risk of getting it and how to manage it. The lymphatic system carries clear watery fluid called lymph, which drains out from the small blood vessels capillaries into the body tissues. Cancer or cancer treatment can affect the fluid drainage channels of the lymphatic system.