Explore the Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema Treatment Program
Our program's multidisciplinary team includes works together to:
- Ensure ongoing screening
- Educate patients about risk factors, signs and symptoms
- Provide top-notch management
If lymphedema is detected, we design an individualized treatment plan focusing on physical therapy.
A Leader in Prospective Screening
We screen for breast cancer-related lymphedema in all newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. We treat the condition in its earliest stages. We have evaluated more than 2,500 breast cancer patients.
Research: A Program Priority
Our program is conducting a large, federally funded clinical trial on early detection and intervention for lymphedema in patients treated for breast cancer. The study evaluates the effectiveness of using compression garments to prevent or slow the progression of lymphedema. Patients will be fitted by a certified lymphedema therapist for compression garments. All our patients are welcome to enroll. Participation is voluntary.
Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new/different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, there are several clinical trials open for the treatment of breast cancer that use the latest in cancer treatments.
Meet the Team
The Lymphedema Studies Program, part of the Center for Breast Cancer, launched in 2005 under the leadership of Alphonse Taghian, MD, PhD.
- Clinical Director, Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema
- Professor of Radiation Oncology, Harvard Medical School
- Co-Director, Breast Cancer Research Program
Patient Education and Resources
Lymphedema is swelling caused by fluid that collects in the tissues under the skin. This fluid is called “lymph.” Patients who have undergone surgery or radiation therapy for breast cancer have greater risk of developing lymphedema. Breast cancer-related lymphedema can occur in the breast, chest wall, arm and/or hand.
Download this pdf to learn more about lymphedema & breast cancer (Spanish version)
We provide comprehensive, compassionate care for patients with any stage of breast cancer.
This program helps patients regain physical abilities and maintain independence.