Lymph is a milky fluid that contains white blood cells. White blood cells help fight infections. Lymph vessels, like blood vessels, run all through the body. They carry lymph, cells and other material. Lymph nodes are found throughout the body. The ones near the breast see image below can be affected by breast cancer treatment. Source: National Cancer Institute www.
Skip to Content. Lymphedema is the abnormal buildup of fluid in soft tissue due to a blockage in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps fight infection and other diseases by carrying lymph throughout the body. Lymph is a colorless fluid containing white blood cells. Lymph may also be called lymphatic fluid.
Lymphedema is a problem that may occur after cancer surgery when lymph nodes are removed. Lymphedema can occur months or years after treatment. But steps can be taken to help keep it from starting, and to reduce or relieve symptoms. If left untreated, lymphedema can get worse.