Lymphedema can occur when the lymph system is damaged, which can prevent the lymph fluid from returning to the blood. For people with cancer, the build-up of lymph fluid can be caused by: Cancer surgery, especially when lymph nodes are removed. Radiation therapy that can damage nearby lymph nodes or lymph vessels.
Sep 18, 2021
Lymphedema can't be cured, but you can control the swelling and keep it from getting worse. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight may make it better, but "water pills" usually won't. Specialized lymphedema therapists can also help you manage the condition.
Although cancer treatments, including oncologic surgical procedures such as axillary lymph node dissection and excision in breast cancer and radiation treatment, are the most common cause of lymphedema in the United States, filariasis is the most common cause of secondary lymphedema globally.
In the U.S, primary lymphedema is rare and affects only 1 in 100,000 people. Secondary lymphedema affects around 1 in 1,000 Americans. It's most common in women who have been treated for breast cancer.
How can I help reduce my risk for lymphedema?
May 25, 2021
Does drinking water help with lymphedema? Absolutely! Because the body is more prone to hold onto excess liquid when it feels dehydrated, drinking enough water is especially important for those with lymphedema so they can maintain a healthy fluid and chemical balance.
Exercises. Gentle exercises, such as walking, are a great way to help the fluids in your body move a little better. Try to go for a walk every day, if you can.
If left untreated, lymphedema can trigger a chain reaction of complications, most notably sudden, serious and recurrent infections brought on by unchecked bacteria that thrive in the trapped lymph fluid.
When the duration of illness is prolonged, the lymphedema may develop into lymphangiosarcoma. The life expectancy of a patient with this condition is limited to a few months to 2 years , .
Foods That Can Make Lymphedema Worse
Without treatment, lymphedema is a progressive disease. There are four stages of lymphedema that are graded according to their severity and run from not visible (stage 0) to severe (stage 3).
Lymphedema is an incurable, debilitating and progressive condition, leading to physical and psychosocial consequences for the patients, if left untreated.
Some degree of weight loss is critical in order to relieve the pressure on the lymph vessels and hopefully regain normal lymphatic function before irreversible damage is done. Even if your swelling has already become permanent, weight-loss will reduce your symptoms and help prevent further disease progression.
Stage 1 is early edema, which improves with limb elevation. Stage 2 represents pitting edema that does not resolve with elevation. Stage 3 describes fibroadipose deposition and skin changes. The severity of lymphedema is categorized as mild (<20% increase in extremity volume), moderate (20–40%), or severe (>40%).
Lymphedema itself is not a life-threatening condition, but it does put you at risk for serious infections, which can lead to tissue death or sepsis. Regular medical care with a vascular specialist can help reduce the risk of lymphedema complications.
In most cases, hereditary lymphedema is inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Lymphedema may be classified as primary or secondary. Hereditary lymphedema is also known as primary lymphedema.
The lymphatic system is a network of channels and glands throughout the body that helps fight infection and remove excess fluid. It's important that lymphoedema is identified and treated as soon as possible. If it is not treated, it can get worse.
Lymphedema occurs after several lymph nodes are removed, or in the natural absence or impairment of them. The lymphatic systems of some patients can no longer manage the fluid, which builds up and collects in the arm or other areas of the body, causing swelling and pain.