Special Interest Group


Lymphedema is a common side effect of cancer treatment impacting many survivors.  The Lymphedema SIG serves to help disseminate information for physical therapists working with the lymphedema patients, through related literature, updates on lymphedema legislation and shared information between therapists experienced in treating the condition. Our common purpose is to enhance the quality of life of the lymphedema patients that we treat.

The Mission of the Lymphedema SIG

The mission of lymphedema SIG is to provide a forum and connect therapists who have a common interest in swelling disorders. It is to network to stay up to date and share information to enhance and benefit the patients we serve.
SIG Contact:
Lesli Bell



SIG Member Resources

The perspective of this article varies from what many of us learned in the past regarding Starlings Principle of fluid exchange. This article reviews that all edema is lymphatic overload. Medicine primarily looks at systemic reasons for edema. Consideration that systemic and peripheral edema impairments can happen simultaneously should change how medicine approaches treatment of patients with edema and lymphedema. This understanding could create a more collaborative atmosphere between physicians and physical therapists specializing in lymphedema management, thus allowing for more comprehensive treatment of our patients.

J Clin Invest. 2014 Mar 3; 124(3): 915–921.
Published online 2014 Mar 3.
doi: 10.1172/JCI71608
PMCID: PMC3938261
New developments in clinical aspects of lymphatic disease
Peter S. Mortimer1 and Stanley G. Rockson2

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This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.


“Arguably, it may be better to consider the presence of chronic edema as synonymous with the presence of lymphedema, inasmuch as all edema represents relative lymph drainage failure” 

Peter S. Mortimer1 and Stanley G. Rockson2, New developments in clinical aspects of lymphatic disease



The lymphatic system is fundamentally important to cardiovascular disease, infection and immunity, cancer, and probably obesity — the four major challenges in healthcare in the 21st century. This Review will consider the manner in which new knowledge of lymphatic genes and molecular mechanisms has demonstrated that lymphatic dysfunction should no longer be considered a passive bystander in disease but rather an active player in many pathological processes and, therefore, a genuine target for future therapeutic developments. The specific roles of the lymphatic system in edema, genetic aspects of primary lymphedema, infection (cellulitis/erysipelas), Crohn’s disease, obesity, cancer, and cancer-related lymphedema are highlighted.

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