Lymphedema is a buildup of lymph fluid in a person’s soft tissues. The condition can lead to swelling anywhere in the body, including the arm, hand, leg, or foot. The removal of or damage to lymph nodes during cancer treatment is a common cause of lymphedema. Much less often, people are born with or inherit a genetic mutation that causes this condition. There is no cure for lymphedema, and so doctors focus on managing the symptoms.
Treatment of lymphedema typically includes lifestyle modifications, such as wearing compression garments and taking steps to avoid a skin infection. Rarely, doctors perform surgery to transplant healthy lymph nodes to the affected area.
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