What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a regional backup of protein-rich fluid in the body due to improper function of the lymphatic system. Lymphedema can present as a painful swelling of the arms, legs, chest, head, neck and genitals and other areas. It can be caused by secondary damage to the lymph system from surgery, trauma, infection or primary causes like genetic malformation.

Exercise and cancer

Some of the benefits of physical therapy and exercise include increased strength, fitness and endurance, reduced pain, while decreasing side effects of chemotherapy/radiation/surgery and prevention of recurrence. Research shows that patients who exercise during and after cancer treatment have a significantly decreased risk of cancer recurrence (Holmes, M.D. et al., 2005 Journal of the American Medical Association 293:2479-2486).


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