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Updated: 10/09/2013 08:00:01AM

What women should know about breast cancer related lymphedema

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Many people who have had their lymph nodes removed after breast cancer surgery don’t realize that it can lead to a chronic condition of lymphedema. This is a common but serious condition affecting at least 3 million Americans.

The highest incidence of lymphedema is observed following breast cancer surgery, particularly among those patients who undergo radiation therapy following the removal of axillary lymph nodes. Many of these individuals will develop breast cancer-related lymphedema. BCRL is one of the most concerning and prevalent secondary complications of breast cancer treatments.

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