World Lymphedema Day: what you need to know

World Lymphedema Day is celebrated on March 6 of each year to expand information on this problem. This is a disease that involves retention of fluid (lymph) in soft tissues, which can occur in the extremities. It is due to the obstruction of the lymphatic channels.

It represents a greater risk for women who have undergone a mastectomy (the removal of one of their breasts), since 20% of postoperative patients end up suffering from lymphedema. Hence, there is a clinical entity known as lymphedema associated with breast cancer.

Celebration of World Lymphedema Day

The celebration of World Lymphedema Day every March 6 started in 2008 as a result of organizations around the world that decided to work together to raise their voices. However, in 2013 the International Congress of Lymphology made the commemoration official.

In this sense, the motive is to make the disease visible and to sensitize the population of the relevance of receiving effective treatments for those affected. Its importance is also in transmitting information on the correct prevention measures.


The objectives of the celebration of World Lymphedema Day are spread, support, raise awareness, sensitize, prevent and unite the world in favor of those who are suffering. Therefore, the purpose is to unite different sectors to make adaptations and explorations of the treatments, so that they are more effective.

The condition is frequently associated with breast cancer, so these patients are a risk group.


The activities that are carried out vary according to the year, but they are very striking and the exhibition is exponential in each new period. In fact, some of the actions that are taken are the following:

  • Landmark lighting In New York.
  • Conferences in Dublin.
  • Global virtual celebration.
  • Donation of a percentage of sales big business.
  • Ongoing requests to the World Health Organization to make lymphedema more prominent on World Health Day.

Causes of lymphedema

The causes of lymphedema are in line with the factors that increase the risk of suffering from the disease. Consequently, among the aspects that can trigger it are the following:

  • Bad execution mechanics in delicate exercises.
  • Treatment of radiotherapy.
  • Go through a mastectomy.
  • Being overweight or morbid obesity.
  • Carry sedentary routines most of the time.
  • Training of intensity and disproportionate load.
  • Clothes that are too tight in design and build permanent pressure.
  • Jewelry that compresses the contact areas.

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Available treatments for lymphedema

Lymphedema has no cure. However, available treatments can be of great help in coping with the condition and controlling the adverse effects of a malfunctioning lymphatic system.

Godoy method

The Godoy method is a therapy that uses reductive physical therapy to counteract lymphedema. It focuses on exercises, compression strategies, lymphatic drainage and special attention to the skin.

Lymphatic supramyrosurgery

Lymphatic supramyrosurgery is a surgery with a considerable degree of complexity that focuses on rebuilding the area most affected.

This is achieved with the generation of another network of lymphatic vessels. Likewise, its use is considered when rehabilitation options are exhausted.

Selective lymphatic liposuction

Its function is remove fat under the skin with a procedure It is intended that it has the least invasive characteristics. In this way, it is possible that the lymphatic channels return to fulfill their function.


Lipomesoplasty is a specific or localized weight loss treatment, since it is based on the application of local medicine (anti-inflammatory and lipoapoptotic), according to what the ultrasound and plicometry probes indicate.

Prevention and recommendations

The prevention and proliferation of recommendations is one of the reasons for World Lymphedema Day. Therefore, taking some measures can prevent and reduce the risk of fluid accumulation.

Consider the following:

  • Avoid exaggerated heat: this also includes tanning sessions that exceed the limits.
  • Reduces the possibility of infections: the best way to achieve this is by wearing gloves for any cleaning action. In addition, pay special attention to the care of wounds and insect bites.
  • Discard large loads: Carrying a heavy weight on your arms during long journeys is detrimental.
  • Do not neglect risky pathologies: this group includes hypothyroidism, diabetes, and morbid obesity.
  • Alternate the position of the arms: Maintaining a sit-down position while standing for long periods of time can contribute to lymphedema.
  • Adapt the wardrobe to comfort: garments that avoid pressure on different areas of the body will be allies to prevent lymphedema. This includes selecting comfortable bras with straps of a greater width.

Lymphedema is associated with obesity conditions, so any healthy habit that reduces weight contributes to prevention.

Also read: 5 causes of overweight that are not related to food

How can I contribute to World Lymphedema Day?

It is possible to be a part of World Lymphedema Day no matter where you are. The important thing is to add so that this cause continues to take steps in its task of helping those affected.

Some steps that can be taken to participate may be the following:

  • Make your story public: write your experience for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network, which will end up in the hands of organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Medical Association (AMA), among others.
  • Sign up for support groups: Becoming a member of an organization to combat lymphedema does not require a financial expense and is very useful.
  • Post on your networks: Look for the official World Lymphedema Day brochure and post it on your networks so that the information can be replicated.
  • Attend the official virtual celebration: Not only will you be able to attend and live an enriching experience, but you will also have the possibility of making a donation.
  • Sending resolution: Taking the resolution forms as a guide, take a step forward by sending it to the government of your country of residence.

World Lymphedema Day makes visible

Lymphedema is a disease that is fought from the union of numerous organizations worldwide. However, the support of the population is what has launched all kinds of initiatives.

The recommendation is to contribute, insist and be constant in the search for the best treatments. Ultimately, all the wills that join in are valuable in order to prevent and progress. If you want to be part of the change, the participation paths are numerous.