What are the Causes and Symptoms of Lymphedema in Context With Breast Cancer?


Lymphedema or symptoms of lymphedema are intensified by prolonged standing, obesity, pregnancy, menstrual period and warm weather creating major symptoms of lymphedema.These can also be regarded as causes of lymphedema. Lymphedema occurs within a few days, months or years after surgery. In case of lymphedema, there is small amount of swelling usually for first hour to six weeks after surgery.Lymphedema generally develops after breast surgery with prominent lymphedema symptoms as there is an alteration in the pathway which drains all those fluids that are involved in the immune system. Local and general swellings are the two major symptoms of lymphedema.

lymphedema symptoms pic

Lymphedema is most common in people who have undergone simple mastectomy in combination with axillary lymph node removal, combined radiation therapy or cancer surgery to a lymph node region like armpit, neck, groin, abdomen or pelvis, radiation therapy to a lymph node region, lumpectomy in combination with axillary lymph node removal, and a modified radical mastectomy in combination with axillary lymph node removal. Depending on the symptoms of lymphedema, physician should prescribe the best treatment for lymphedema.Following breast surgery after breast cancer; physician will examine the arm measurements for any signs of arm lymphedema.There may be redness or pain in the arm indicating lymphedema symptoms.

Following are some symptoms of lymphedema.

  • Swelling in arms, hands, shoulder, chest or legs and this swelling may occur for the first time after trauma, infection or after an extended airplane trip.
  • A heavy sensation in the legs or arms.
  • Skin tightness
  • Decreased flexibility in hands, wrist and ankle
  • Difficulty fitting into clothing


Filed Under: CancerDiseases

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