What is Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is the swelling of certain parts of the body, usually a limb. It occurs when there is a blockage in the lymphatic system, where fluid builds up in the tissue under the skin causing swelling, which can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. It can last for years or even be lifelong.

According to Better Health Channel, around 300,000 Australians will experience lymphoedema at any given time, Furthermore, Cancer Council states that approximately 20% of patients treated for breast melanoma, gynaecological, or prostate cancers will develop lymphoedema.

  • The swelling of certain parts of the body
  • Caused by problems with the lymphatic system – blockage of the tubes that help to drain fluid from tissues back into the bloodstream
  • Most commonly caused by lymph node removal or damage due to cancer treatments