Head & Neck Lymphedema

lymph nodes head and neckHEAD & NECK LYMPHEDEMA

Swelling in the head and neck is often a side effect of cancer treatments in this area, such as thyroid cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, or others. Some studies claim that as high as 75.3% of head and neck cancer patients will suffer lymphedema due to treatments. Lymphedema is a chronic swelling that can result from damage to the lymphatic system in this area. Furthermore, interference with the flow of lymphatic fluid can build up lymphatic fluid. This is commonly seen in the neck and under the chin. However, it can also occur in the face, mouth, and throat.

Head and neck lymphedema can cause difficulty breathing, speaking, neck mobility, and swallowing. In particular, it can alter one’s appearance, which can be distressing. Continue reading