If the oedema and swelling have been caused by injury to the lymphatic vessels, be it through the removal of the lymph nodes or to a direct influence on the lymphatic vessels, the illness is called a secondary lymphoedema. This swelling of the extremities is very common, for example one third of all breast cancer patients are affected by lymphoedema, in the case of operations for uterine or prostate cancer one in four patients are affected.

 

In the case of secondary lymphoedema there are many possible forms of therapy which all aim to improve lymph flow and to reduce the area of the extremity which is affected.