What is lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is swelling caused by a build up of lymph fluid in the body tissues, especially in the layer of fat under the skin.
Normally lymph flows through lymph vessels, but if the lymphatic system is damaged or inadequate it cannot handle the usual amount of lymph, and fluid builds up in the tissues.
Lymphoedema results in swelling of the limbs and may involve the trunk or head as well. Lymphoedema causes swelling in the affected area, discomfort, loss of movement and calls for practical and psychological adjustment.
Prevention is always the best approach.
Support and Consumer websites:
Lymphedema People (USA)
Lymphoedema Support Network (UK)
Macmillan Cancer Support Group (UK)
Guidelines for the use of Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of Lymphoedema. Clinical Resource Efficiency Support Team, Ireland, 2008
Care of children with lymphoedema. International Lymphoedema Framework, 2010
Best Practice for the Management of Lymphoedema. International Consensus, 2006
National Breast Ovarian Cancer Centre Australia
National Breast Ovarian Cancer Centre Australia - Lymphoedema information
National Breast Ovarian Cancer Centre Australia - Understanding Lymphoedema
International Lymphoedema Framework
Australasian Lymphology Association
British Lymphology Association
UK Lymphoedema Support Network
National US Lymphedema Network
Cancer Backup UK
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