Understanding And Preventing One Of The Causes Of Swelling – Lymphedema

2011-03-23 | |
Last updated: 2011-03-23

Why Does Lymphedema Occur?

One of the more detailed causes of Lymphedema following these treatments is the removal of the lymph nodes of the lymphatic system. As well, radiation therapy and infections following treatment can also cause damage to the lymphatic system that prevents the proper movement of the fluids. If the fluids cannot effectively be pumped, they will accumulate in the tissues.

How Can Lymphedema Be Prevented?

Because of the many ways in which the lymphatic system can be damaged as a result of treatment, researchers suggest removing as few lymph nodes as possible. As well, they recommend limiting the number of lymph nodes that be treated with radiation. The problem is that those performing the treatment must remove enough lymph nodes to eradicate any spreading cancers. Finding that right balance to minimize the number of lymph nodes affected requires a better view into the body.

Fortunately, last year, researchers working independently at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Texas found two important pieces that will one day be useful. The researchers at the Mayo clinic used radiation imaging and dyes to see into the body to determine which lymph nodes were cancerous and needed radiation treatment. The University of Texas researchers found a way to monitor the drainage of the lymphatic system during and after treatment. The combination of the two discoveries means that surgeons will one day be able to treat and observe the effects on the lymphatic system to minimize the damage done.

Conclusions

Though we might not place a high value on sewers until they fail, they do serve an important cleanup role. In our bodies, the lymphatic system is equally under appreciated until it fails. Fortunately, research is beginning to understand the detailed interworkings of the lymphatic system and how to protect it.

Related Links

http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2008/1027-armer-lymphedema.php
http://www.publichealth.pitt.edu/news.php?id=159
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/08/AR2010110803739.html
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/published-guidelines-further-support-use-of-bioimpedance-measurement-technology-for-early-assessment-of-lymphedema-57451862.html
http://www.osa.org/About_Osa/Newsroom/News_Releases/Releases/08.2010/New_Imaging_Technique_Could_Help_Physicians.aspx
http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2010-rst/6084.html

http://munews.missouri.edu/news-releases/2008/1027-armer-lymphedema.php
http://www.publichealth.pitt.edu/news.php?id=159
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/08/AR2010110803739.html
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/published-guidelines-further-support-use-of-bioimpedance-measurement-technology-for-early-assessment-of-lymphedema-57451862.html
http://www.osa.org/About_Osa/Newsroom/News_Releases/Releases/08.2010/New_Imaging_Technique_Could_Help_Physicians.aspx
http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2010-rst/6084.html

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Category: Health Risks, Medical Treatment, Symptom Information

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