What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a condition of localized fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a compromised lymphatic system, which normally returns interstitial fluid to the thoracic duct, then the bloodstream. The condition can be inherited or can be caused by a birth defect, though it is frequently caused by cancer treatments and by parasitic infections. Lymphedema develops most often in one arm or leg, but may be present in both arms and both legs. It may also occur in hands or feet, and even in chest, back, neck, face, abdomen and genitals. Lymphedema can be managed with early diagnosis and by certain treatment programs for the affected area.