Cancer and its treatment can impact or damage the body’s lymphatic system. This can lead to a build-up of lymph fluid (also known as swelling) in tissues under the skin. This swelling is called lymphoedema. Not all cancer survivors will experience lymphoedema. Lymphoedema most often occurs in the arm or the leg but can occur in other parts of the body. Understanding what lymphoedema is and learning how to manage it can help survivors improve their function and quality of life.
Information for cancer survivors and their families
- Cancer Council factsheet: Understanding lymphoedema
- Cancer Australia booklet: Lymphoedema: What you need to know
- Cancer Council website: Lymphoedema treatment and management
- Counterpart webinar: Lymphoedema: Information session
- Australasian Lymphology Association: State-based support groups
- MacMillan Cancer website and videos: Lymphoedema (UK)
- Cancer Research UK website and videos: Exercise and lymphoedema (UK)
- American Cancer Society website: For people with lymphoedema (US)
- American Cancer Society website: For people at risk of lymphoedema (US)
- Australasian Lymphology Association (2006): International consensus: Best practice for the management of lymphoedema
- American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Education Book (2020): Avoiding the swell: advances in lymphoedema prevention, detection and management (US)
- Cancer Australia report (2008): Review of research evidence on secondary lymphoedema: Incidence, prevention risk factors and management
- Cancer Australia factsheet: The management of secondary lymphoedema – a guide for health professionals
Additional information for health professionals
- Australasian Lymphology Association website
- National Cancer Institute website: Lymphoedema – Health professional version (US)
- Cancer Council NSW webinar: Understanding lymphoedema
- eviQ Education module: Lymphoedema and radiation oncology
- MQ Health: Australian Lymphoedema Education Research and Treatment centre (ALERT)
- Australian Lymphoedema Education, Research and Treatment program (ALERT): Lymphoedema: Monitoring & Intervention After Breast Cancer course (free)
Clinical services at Peter Mac Parkville
The following services are available to patients of Peter Mac, Parkville. If you are treated elsewhere, please speak with your oncology team, as you may have different clinical service options.
- Wellbeing Centre event Let’s talk Lymphoedema. This Q&A session is run by experts and aims to support those experiencing Lymphoedema.
- Physiotherapy services. Physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can assist with mobility and physical function before, during and after cancer treatment.
- Optimisation Clinic: This multidisciplinary outpatient clinic is for cancer survivors with complex needs. Services include a dietitian, psychologist, physiotherapist and occupational therapist. For referrals please email [email protected] or [email protected] for further information
Other clinical services in the Parkville precinct
Peter Mac is also part of the Parkville precinct (Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital), with services listed separately, above. If you would like to advise of any relevant services or provide feedback please email, ACSC. If you are treated elsewhere, please speak with your oncology team, as you may have different clinical service options.