"Lymphoedema is a closed book to many people, a neglected area of medicine.  Those to suffer are always the patients, who remain uncared for or inadequately treated.  The method of first choice in the treatment of lymphoedema is currently 'Complex Decongestive Therapy' (CDT), a form of treatment almost free from side effects that has always provided successful results in many thousands of patients.  For ethical reasons alone, this obviously highly effective treatment should not be witheld from patients."  (Professor Dr. Ethel Földi)

Lymphoedema is a swelling, which occurs due to a failure of the lymphatic system.  Swelling occurs most commonly in the limbs, but can occur in other parts of the body and can affect people of all ages.  It is not a well-documented condition, and is much more common than is generally realised.  It is estimated that lymphoedema affects 250 million people worldwide.

Unfortunately, there is a general lack of knowledge and expertise in making the early dignosis and in giving the correct treatment, which are essential for the optimum control of the disease. Too often it is regarded as a trivial condition.  In fact, lymphoedema has an immense impact on a person's quality of life.  

It is a chronic condition, which tends to progress if left untreated.  It is important to remember that lymphoedema can be treated successfully in order to prevent this progression and improve quality of life. 

For the majority of patients, preventing progression and improving quality of life can be achieved by specialist treatment, known as Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT).  The goal of this therapy is to reduce the swelling and maintain freedom from symptoms.  CDT is virtually free from side effects and is the treatment of first choice for lymphoedema.

It is important that patients have an understanding of lymphoedema and all aspects of treatment.  This will help them to maintain the benefits of therapy and manage their condition. 

It is also important that people who may be at risk of developing lymphoedema, for example those with a family history of lymphoedema, or those who undergo surgery/radiotherapy/chemotherapy treatment for cancer, are aware of the signs and symptoms of lymphoedema and that early detection and prompt treatment is always recommended.  It is very important they are aware of preventative measures to take to help avoid lymphoedema developing. 

“I now after a long time can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I have found this treatment nothing short of miraculous.   Please, please make it part of our road to recovery and a normal life."   (Lymphoedema patient in Northern Ireland)