Other lymphedema locations
While health professionals are today very familiar with lymphedema of the arm after breast cancer or of the lower limbs and routinely treat these conditions, lymphedema can also affect the head, genitals or breasts in rarer cases.
Lymphedema of the face, head or neck
This is usually a complication of an ENT cancer or its treatments. It can cause feelings of tightness, heaviness or numbness and also impede neck mobility. Local lymphatic drainage and gentle compression therapy using bandages begun before discharge from hospital help reduce oedema and soften the skin.
Lymphedema of the genitals
This can occur following treatment for a cancer located in the pelvic region:
- cancers of the bladder or rectum;
- cervical, endometrial or ovarian cancers in women;
- prostate cancer in men.
In men, the lymphedema affects the testicles or penis and in women, the vulva or pubis.
This lymphedema is liable to cause discomfort and feelings of heaviness and impede walking and may be associated with skin lesions. Treatments include the application of bandages, the wearing of compression briefs or pants and manual lymphatic drainage. Surgery may help reduce excessive volumes.
Lymphedema of the breast
This should not be confused with lymphedema of the arm following breast cancer although it may develop following treatment for breast cancer. The affected breast is swollen, soft and red. Treatment for this type of lymphedema is based on lymphatic drainage sessions and, if necessary, the application of a light compression bandage to the breast affected.