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Lymphedema is when a body part swells up. If you have lymphedema, you may have symptoms such as swelling or a feeling of stiffness in the affected areas.​

 

Causes

Lymphedema is caused when parts of your body are not being drained properly because your lymphatic system was damaged by cancer treatment. The swelling is caused by a build-up of protein-rich fluid in your body tissues.

If you have had your lymph nodes removed or have received radiation to the lymph nodes, you are at risk for lymphedema in the affected area for the rest of your life.

If you had treatment for endometrial cancer, lymphedema may occur in your lower body.

 

What you can do

The swelling caused by lymphedema can be controlled and may even go away if you care for it regularly. Caring for your lymphedema can help reduce the symptoms you feel and prevent problems from happening in the future or getting worse.

For more information, attend the "Lymphedema Awareness" class at Princess Margaret or read How to Manage Your Lymphedema [PDF, opens in new window]. You can also ask your doctor about a referral to the Lymphedema Clinic.

 

Last reviewed: 11/4/2019
Last modified: 11/5/2019 6:52 AM