Saskatchewan Breast Cancer Connect

Lymphedema

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a swelling of a body part resulting from an accumulation of fluids, in such proportions to be palpable and visible. It occurs when the lymph vascular system is not able to fill its functions because the lymphatic vessels are absent, underdeveloped, obstructed or damaged.

Lymphedema is a chronic and if left untreated, progressive condition. It can however, be brought under control by appropriate treatment and care.

What causes Lymphedema?

Lymphedema can be caused by the removal of the lymph nodes during breast cancer surgeries.The condition often causes decreased mobility, discomfort and can cause episodes of infection, cellulitis and lymphangitis. 

Can it be Treated?

Treatment should begin as soon as lymphedema is diagnosed. The goal of treatment is to reduce the swelling and facilitate the flow of lymph fluid to the venous circulation of the affected area.

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Sources for Information

  • Lymphedema Association of Saskatchewan Inc

    LAS recognized the need to help those who have or are at risk of developing lymphedema and related lymphatic disorders. LAS strives to be a learning association, committed to ongoing education. 

    Website