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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms


lymphedema  listen  (LIM-fuh-DEE-muh)

  A condition in which extra lymph fluid builds up in tissues and causes swelling. It may occur in an arm or leg if lymph vessels are blocked, damaged, or removed by surgery.

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Lymph system; drawing shows the lymph vessels and lymph organs, including the lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow.  One inset shows the inside structure of a lymph node and the attached lymph vessels with arrows showing how the lymph (clear fluid) moves into and out of the lymph node. Another inset shows a close up of bone marrow with blood cells.