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Lymphedema - A condition in which fluid (lymph) is retained by the lymph nodes and causes swelling (edema), often in the arms or legs. The swelling occurs when a blockage in the lymphatic system prevents the fluid from draining adequately. Lymphedema is often classified as primary or secondary. Primary lymphedema can develop when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired, and is a hereditary condition. Secondary lymphedema can occur when lymph nodes or vessels are removed or damaged, which may develop as an unwanted side-effect of surgery (e.g., node dissection) or radiation treatment.
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