is characterised by
swelling of certain parts of the body, caused by problems
with the lymphatic system
. Any part of the body can be affected by lymphoedema,
but it tends to target the arms and legs.
Around 300,000 Australians will
experience lymphoedema at any given time.
Normally, fluid and proteins leak into the body
tissues regularly from the blood. This tissue fluid bathes the cells, supplies
their nutritional needs and receives back the products of their metabolism. The
lymphatic system is a network of tubes throughout the body that drains this
fluid (called lymph) from tissues and empties it back into the bloodstream.
When this system is not working properly, lymphoedema can occur.
Women who have undergone surgery and
radiotherapy for treatment of breast cancer are particularly susceptible to
lymphoedema of the arm and, sometimes, the adjacent chest wall on the affected
side. Men and women who have had surgery and radiotherapy for the treatment of
cancer of the prostate, bowel or reproductive systems are also prone to
lymphoedema of the legs or groin areas.
Untreated lymphoedema can lead to decreased function
and mobility in the affected
and other complications
Lymphoedema after treatment for breast cancer
Swelling of the arm, the remaining breast tissue or the chest can follow breast cancer
surgery if the nearby lymph nodes in the armpit are removed. Radiotherapy can
also cause swelling. Although the incidence varies – depending on the number of
lymph nodes removed, whether radiotherapy was given and a range of other
around 10 per cent of women will experience lymphoedema to some
degree with radiotherapy alone, while up to one-third of women who undergo both
radiotherapy and surgery (and have other risk factors) will be affected
Lymphoedema can occur at any stage after the intervention, even 20 years later.
At Exquisite Bodies
we take care of all your post-surgical and compression requirements.Talk to us today about our Post Surgery Compression Garment
range, specifically for treatment after Surgery/Breast Cancer. Our Isavela Compression Garments
offer a selection of abdominal
binders, mid-thigh, below the
knee and long arm sleeve
Contact Exquisite Bodies on
1300 855 617 or visit the range here.
contact us for more info.
Ref:National Breast and
Ovarian Cancer Centre. Review of research evidence on secondary lymphoedema:
Incidence, prevention, risk factors and treatment, NBOCC, Surry Hills, NSW,
2008. Document can be downloaded