Lymphoedema after cancer treatment
- In the arm after breast cancer treatment (surgery and/or radiotherapy) to the armpit
- In the leg if cancer or its treatment affected the lymph nodes in the groin area or the pelvis – this usually happens after surgery or radiotherapy to the lymph nodes in the groin for prostate cancer, gynecological cancers (cancer of the womb,cervix,ovary or vulva), or a type of skin cancer called melanoma
Where else can lymphoedema occur?
- In the breast or chest after breast cancer treatment.
- In the pelvic area and genitals. This sometimes happens after surgeryor radiotherapy to lymph nodes in the pelvis for cancer of the prostate, bladder, womb, vagina, testis, penis or rectum.
- In the neck and face, if lymph nodes in the neck are affected, but this is rare.
Contact your hospital if you have unexplained swelling following cancer treatment.
What medical help is available for lymphoedema?
How can I cope better with lymphoedema?
Keeping up with all the precautions and treatment plans can be demanding, but taking care of yourself and following your doctor or therapist’s advice can help to keep lymphoedema under control.
Here are some tips to help you to cope better:
- Find out as much as possible about lymphoedema – You might like to look at the links below
- Ask questions about your condition
- Try to be realistic in the goals you set for yourself
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
- Talk to others who may be going to similar experience – A support group like Lymphoedema Ireland can help
- Try to remain positive