Lymphoedema is swelling caused by a build-up of lymph fluid in the surface tissues of the body. This may happen as a result of damage to the lymphatic system because of surgery or radiotherapy to the lymph nodes under the arm (axilla) and surrounding area. 

Sometimes lymphoedema can be caused by cancer cells blocking the lymph system.

If you think you have developed lymphoedema, contact your breast care nurse or specialist team for an assessment.


Last reviewed: July 2016
Next planned review begins 2018

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