Lymphedema (lim-fa-dee-ma): a lifelong health condition caused by a build up of lymph fluid in the tissues, leading to swelling (edema), pain, discomfort and the risk of infection.
Some people are born with lymphedema due to a defect of the lymphatic system. Other people develop lymphedema as a result of damage to their lymphatic system, for example trauma, injury, a burn or, most commonly, as a result of treatment for some cancers.
There is no cure for lymphedema at this time. It is a lifelong condition. When diagnosed and treated early, you can manage it. You can also prevent it from leading to more serious health problems.
Knowledge is the key to lymphedema prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment to manage the condition. It helps to lessen our fears and move us to action.
The purpose of the health information on the website of the Lymphedema Association of Ontario (LAO) is to inform and educate. This information does not replace the knowledge, expertise, skill and judgment of health care providers. It is not meant to be used for diagnosis or treatment. If you have medical questions or concerns about your own health, please consult a qualified health care provider. The LAO makes every effort to ensure that the health information on this website is correct and up-to-date, but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete.
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The LAO is working to improve access to quality lymphedema information, resources and services. We are striving for quality of life for people who are living with lymphedema – and knowledge of how to prevent it in people who are at risk for lymphedema.
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