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Are You at Risk for Lymphedema?

Learn who is at risk for developing lymphedema and the preventive steps they should take.

Additional Lymphedema Names and Spellings

Around the globe there are several different systems for naming, and spelling, lymphedema. 

Diagnosing Lymphedema
Approximately 90% of all lymphedema cases are accurately  diagnosed by a healthcare provider with expertise in this condition. 

If a physician does not have this expertise, he or she should refer the patient to someone who can provide this service.

After the diagnosis has been made, the patient should be referred to a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT) for evauluation and  treatment.

This therapist is responsible for the patient's lymphedema treatment, and the patient's primary physician remains responsible for all other care fot this patient.

Early Intervention to Prevent Lymphedema
The American Cancer Society has published the results of a study titled “Preoperative Assessment Enables the Early Diagnosis and Successful Treatment of Lymphedema.”  

The goal of this study was to determine if, after treatment for breast cancer, early intervention canor cannot prevent the  development of lymphedema.

Genetic Testing for Primary Lymphedema
Genetic Testing for Primary Lymphedema is an informative article written by Kara Levine, M.S. a Genetic Counselor with the “Lymphedema Family Study” at the University of Pittsburgh.

For those seeking genetic testing contact data, this information is included at the end of this article.

Genetics and Primary Lymphedema
Although the initiating circumstances surrounding the onset of primary and secondary lymphedema are different, knowledge of the genetic mechanisms that cause primary lymphedema will:
  • Lead to a better understanding of the function of the lymphatics,
  • New ideas for treatment of both primary and secondary lymphedema, and
  • Possibly even the identification of genetic risk factors that increase an individual’s susceptibility for secondary lymphedema. Therapeutic implications of increased knowledge about the genetics of the lymphatic system include the potential for drugs that modify the activity of cell receptors and growth factors involved in maintaining a healthy lymphatic system.
Lymphatic Research Foundation Patient Registry
The Lymphatic Research Foundation (LRF) is proud to announce the founding of "The National Lymphatic Disease and Lymphedema Patient Registry." This is an important step toward finding ways to prevent, or cure, lymphedema.   

If you have lymphedema, YOU too can be part of this important project.

Major Types of Lymphedema
If you have reason to believe that you have, or at risk of developing lymphedema, you should visit your physician to have the condition diagnosed as soon as possible.

90% of all cases of lymphedema are diagnosed by a physician. When the doctor suspects lymphedema, he or  she usually writes a referral to a lymphedema therapist for evaluation and to begin treatment if necessary. 

Even after the patient begins treatment with the lymphedema therapist, his or her physician remains in charge of the patient's general medical care.      

National Breast Cancer Lymphedema Registry
The National Breast Cancer lymphedema Registry is a gathering of information about real patients who who have had breast cancer. Gathering this data is an essential element of the research that will reduce the risk of developing lymphedema resulting from this treatment.

The National Breast Cancer Lymphedema Registry is an important part of this process. If you have lymphedema after breast cancer treatment you can explore this website at https://breastcancer-lymphedema.stanford.edu  After you read the information you will find here, please sign-up to be part of this important research.

Surprising Research
The Information presented here is based on the “Breast Cancer Lymphedema: Role of Insulin Resistance/FOXC2,” This grant was presented to Stanley Rockson, MD of Stanford University in 2005. The Final Report of his surprising findings was released in 2008. <more...>
The Importance of Bioimpedance
Obtaining accurate measurements is one of the major challenges relating to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of lymphedema. New technology, through the use of bioimpedance, brings the hope of having a simple and practical technique for obtaining these essential information. <more...>
Updated Definitions (2014)
At the September 2014 NLN meeting in Washington, D.C., the following new definitions of lymphedema were discussed. <more...>
Warning Signs of Lymphedema
Lymphedema is a chronic condition that cannot be cured; however, very often the sooner treatment is started the more effective that treatment can be! 

If you are at risk for lymphedema, or have developed any of the following warning signs you should promptly seek a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


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