Lymphedema/Breast Cancer Related Lymphoedema
Lymphoedema, also known as elephantiasis occurs due to the damage to the lymphatic system which results in the swelling of body parts. Feeling tightness, heaviness and redness in the affected area are some of the symptoms of lymphedema. The causes of Lymphoedema can be connected to different conditions. Breast cancer-related lymphoedema is an example.
Classification of Lymphedema based on the aetiology (cause)
There are 3 stages of lymphoedema in the consensus classification of the International Society of Lymphology (ISL).
Stage I: Oedema spontaneously reversible on the overnight elevation of affected part and skin is normal.
Stage II: Signifies that limb elevation alone rarely reduces tissue swelling and pitting is manifest. Skin remains normal.
Stage II late: Irreversible oedema on overnight elevation and skin is thickened.
Stage III: Irreversible oedema and elephantine changes manifested by gross hypertrophy and trophic changes and warty growth and nodules over the skin.