Who is at Risk for Lymphedema

Lymphedema is a life changing condition where built-up lymph fluid is held in the fatty tissue of our extremities, typically seen in our legs. This condition has puzzled doctors for years and it is still not entirely known why some people are at a greater risk to develop it than others. Regardless of the perplexity, there are several risks that doctors have associated with the onset of lymphedema. Here is who is at risk:

Cancer Patients

Lymphedema has been shown to be linked to the radiation treatment for a variety of cancers. Most reported cancer types include breast cancer, prostate cancer, pelvic area cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, and neck cancers. Lymphedema usually develops in the legs but can also develop in other parts of the body. The cancer treatments can cause swelling to occur in the treated areas and possibly lead to lymphedema. Unfortunately, once lymphedema has started, it is unable to be cured with today’s medicine.


Infection, even a simple skin infection can cause lymphedema. The lymph system in crucial for filtering out and fighting infections of skin and deeper tissues. However when the lymph system is fighting the infection scarring can occur in lymphatic vessels which can impair future lymph flow and function. It is very important that you pay attention to signs infection such as redness, warmth or swellling and see medical attention promptly at the first signs of skin infection to prevent complication like lymphedema.

Living a Non-Healthy Lifestyle

Studies have shown that obese patients are at a much higher risk for lymphedema than those who are fit. It is important to maintain a manageable weight, and not just for your general health; it but can help prevent the onset of lymphedema. If you have been treated for cancer, it is even more important to work out that part of the body to heal and regain your strength. By using your muscles, you also help your lymph fluid drain like normal. Make sure to ask your physician about when you can start to exercise following any kind of radiation treatment. Working with a personal trainer will also make sure any exercises do not make your symptoms of lymphedema even worse if you have already been diagnosed.

Choosing the Laser Vein Center

If you believe you are at risk for developing lymphedema, contact our offices immediately for any help. The Laser Vein Center is led by the highly trained Dr. Wright and his team of experts who have helped thousands of lymphedema patients with our available treatment options. Call for your free consultation today to see what treatment is available for you.