Lymphedema

A swelling side effect that's anything but swell

Our approach to lymphedema care

We understand that cancer-related lymphedema can cause both physical and emotional discomfort, affecting your daily life and well-being. Our compassionate team is dedicated to providing comprehensive care that focuses on your unique needs.

Signs and symptoms of lymphedema

Cancer-related lymphedema is a chronic swelling that may occur as a result of the disease or treatment of the disease. It's important to call your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • swelling in the arm, leg or genitals
  • a feeling of heaviness or tightness in the affected area
  • skin that feels hard or thick
  • pain or discomfort in the affected area
  • decreased range of motion in the affected area

When to seek care for lymphedema

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms above, reach out to your cancer care team. Our experienced healthcare professionals will provide you with the care and support you need. Don't hesitate to seek medical advice if you have any concerns about lymphedema or any other health-related issues.

Our steps to diagnosing lymphedema

If you notice swelling, especially in one limb, talk to your cancer care team right away. Your doctor will review your medical and treatment history and perform a physical exam. They may also order imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or a lymphoscintigraphy, to get a detailed view of your lymphatic system and identify any blockages. Once we have a better understanding of your unique condition, we can personalize your lymphedema treatment to your needs.

Treatment options for lymphedema

We understand that cancer lymphedema treatment is a personal journey, and we tailor our approach to your unique symptoms and risks. Our goal is to help the flow of your lymphatics, improve your circulation and reduce swelling. Treatments for lymphedema include:

  • exercise
  • light massage
  • bandaging and compression garments
  • compression pump
  • proper skin care to avoid infection
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Complete program of cancer care

Treating your lymphedema will be part of your overall cancer treatment. Our multidisciplinary team has extensive experience diagnosing and treating this specific form of lymphedema.

Industry-leading collaboration

The WellSpan Cancer Institute works in collaboration with Johns Hopkins Medicine Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore to provide you with options like second opinions, expanded clinical trials, advanced gene therapy and access to specialists who treat the most complex cancers.

Specialized rehabilitation

WellSpan Rehabilitation, in conjunction with the Adams Cancer Center and the York Cancer Center, provides a specialized rehabilitation program for women who have had breast surgery. We'll discuss the results with you and report them to your doctor.