What lymphoedema is

Lymphoedema means a build up of lymph fluid that causes swelling in a part of the body. It can develop if there are problems with the lymphatic system.

About lymphoedema and cancer

Lymphoedema can sometimes develop as a result of either cancer or cancer treatment. Some people are more likely to get lymphoedema than others.

Lowering your risk of lymphoedema

There are many things you can do to lower your risk of lymphoedema after cancer treatment.

Symptoms of lymphoedema

The most common symptom of lymphoedema is swelling. Some people also feel heaviness or aching. Symptoms can appear some time after cancer treatment.

Diagnosing and assessing lymphoedema

Doctors and specialist nurses can diagnose, test and assess lymphoedema. 

Treating lymphoedema

Treatments to manage lymphoedema include manual lymphatic drainage (specialised massage), bandaging, compression garments and exercise.

Lymphoedema research

Research helps us to find out more about conditions such as lymphoedema. Finding out what causes it can help us prevent it and to develop better treatments.

Coping with lymphoedema

Lymphoedema can affect you practically, physically and emotionally. You can get support with this. There are also ways you can help yourself cope.

Resources and support

There are lots of organisations, support groups and helpful books to help you cope with lymphoedema caused by cancer and its treatment.

Information and help