For anyone with (or at risk for) Lymphedema
WHAT IS LYMPHEDEMA?
Lymphedema is swelling that can occur anywhere in the body and is often caused by cancer treatments like surgery and radiation but can also occur after a traumatic injury. It can appear immediately after surgery or much later. It is most often seen in women after breast cancer treatment when lymph nodes have been removed or radiation has been done. This type of lymphedema is often referred to as Secondary Lymphedema.
There is no cure for lymphedema but it can be managed with proper care and treatment. It is important to know what signs to watch for and to catch them at their earliest stages. One early sign is swelling in or around the area where surgery, treatment or trauma occurred. Pay attention to how your arms or legs feel. Also, be aware of tightness when wearing rings or watches as it may be an early warning sign.
If you have had any cancer treatment or a traumatic injury, ask your primary care provider to recommend or refer you to someone who specializes in Lymphedema Treatment or go to www.cit-lana.org and find a therapist in your area. For more information on Lymphedema please visit the Northwest Lymphedema Center website.