Lymphedema is the name of a type of swelling. It happens when lymph builds up in your body's soft tissues. Lymph is a fluid that contains white blood cells that defend against germs. It can build up when the lymph system is damaged or blocked. It usually happens in the arms or legs.
Causes of lymphedema include
- Scar tissue from radiation therapy or surgical removal of lymph nodes
- Inherited conditions in which lymph nodes or vessels are absent or abnormal
Treatment can help control symptoms. It includes exercise, compression devices, skin care, and massage.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
- Lymphedema Risk Reduction Practices (National Lymphedema Network)
- Buildup of Fluid or Lymphedema (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
- Understanding Lymphedema (For Cancers Other Than Breast Cancer) (American Cancer Society)
- What Is the Lymphatic System? (National Lymphedema Network)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Lymphedema (National Institutes of Health)
- Genetics Home Reference: Hennekam syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: Lymphedema-distichiasis syndrome (National Library of Medicine)
- Genetics Home Reference: Meige lymphedema (National Library of Medicine)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Lymphedema: What Every Woman with Breast Cancer Should Know (American Cancer Society)