Cancer patients often contend with swelling or edema (a build-up of fluid) as a result of having lymph nodes removed during surgery or damaged from radiation or cancer. This condition is known as lymphedema.
City of Hope’s Lymphedema Program has been helping patients recover from this treatable, yet potentially debilitating, side effect of cancer treatment for more than a decade.
The swelling characteristic of lymphedema can result in great discomfort, the inability to fit into clothes and the loss of range of motion and function. Swollen limbs can adversely affect body image and make it difficult to perform daily activities such as walking and reaching. The affected area is also at risk for infection.
Lymphedema therapists use a combination of treatments to manage the condition. These may include manual lymph drainage, compression bandaging, exercise, the use of a pneumatic sequential compression pump, and/or compression garments.