How to Prevent and Treat Lymphedema
Lymphedema refers to the swelling and/or pain in an area where lymph nodes have been removed or radiated following cancer treatment. It can also be caused by infection. This is different from lymphoma, which is a type of cancer.
Lymphedema can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary is a congenital or hereditary condition, while secondary lymphedema is what cancer patients may face when normal drainage of lymph fluid is disrupted due to a blockage or cut in the lymphatic system, usually the nodes in the armpit or groin.
If you notice any swelling, tightness of skin or discomfort in the area where you had surgery or received radiation, please contact your doctor. If you have been diagnosed with lymphedema, there are specialists who can help reduce the swelling and discomfort.
Websites with Useful Information:
The National Lymphedema Network
- A website with information on prevention and treatment. They sell a bracelet that identifies you as someone who should not have blood drawn or blood pressure taken on the affected arm.
- The National Lymphedema Network
The American Physical Therapy Association
- A website with information on the prevention and management of lymphedema
- Visit their website.
Local Treatment for Lymphedema
Massotherapists licensed for Manual Lymph Drainage:
- Kyle True: 440-734-6570
- Visit Kyle’s website
- Anne Baldwin, 216-444-2623 Cleveland Clinic
- Karen Hallgren, 440-356-9103 Fairview Hospital
- Jean Knis, 440-356-9103 Fairview Hospital
- Diane Galvin, 216-378-6240 Cleveland Clinic, APTA Oncology Section Member
Other Resources and Information about Lymphedema
Discount Drug Mart’s “A Woman’s Place”
- Various locations in northeast Ohio sell lymphedema supplies
- Call them for a location and more information at 1-800-434-9440
The Gathering Place Education Center
We have several books about lymphedema that can be borrowed, including:
- Coping with Lymphedema by Joan Swirsky
- Living Well With Lymphedema by Ann Ehrlich
- Lymphedema by Sam Donaldson
- Lymphedema A Breast Cancer Patient’s Guide to Prevention and Healing by Gwen White
This list does not replace the advice of your surgeon or oncologist. This list does not claim include all therapists in our area. This list is not a recommendation or endorsement of any individual, institution or website.