“After cancer surgery I knew that it was going to be a ‘new normal,’ but I wanted that new normal to be as close to the old normal as possible. I’m a walker, and the therapy helped me get back to my normal activities a lot quicker.” – Melanoma patient
Our lymphedema team helps patients and families learn to recognize the signs of lymphedema and manage them, and individualizes treatment for each patient.
The UNC Lymphedema program includes 3 certified lymphedema therapists:
Val Collins, PT, CLT-LANA
Sherin Joseph, DPT, CLT (who speaks Spanish and Malyayalam!) and
Jennifer R. Harrington, PT, DPT, WCS, CLT.
All 3 are members of UNC Health Care’s Department of Rehabilitation Therapies at the Center for Rehabilitation Care. They see UNC patients as well as those from across the Triangle area.
Lymphedema is a buildup of fluid in the skin of an arm or leg or in your chest, breast, head or neck. Lymphedema happens when damage occurs to this lymphatic system and lymph cannot move through the body. This can happen after cancer treatments, including surgery and radiation. Lymphedema can happen in the first few months of cancer treatments or it may happen months to years later. The affected area may have the following symptoms:
- Tightness of the skin
- Clothes or jewelry may feel tight
- Less flexibility
- Heaviness, aching or pain
Lymphedema Clinics Moving
Lymphedema Care has moved to a new location. Please call (98) 974-9700 for information.
UNC Hospital Center for Rehabilitation Care
1807 N. Fordham Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC
To download a free copy of the 2014 version of the Lymphedema: A Self Care Guide© click here.
The purpose of this guide is to empower you with information so that you know what signs to watch for and what you should do if you develop lymphedema. If lymphedema develops, with early detection, therapy, and excellent self-care, you can manage your lymphedema and continue to move forward to do the things you enjoy in life.
To learn more about lymphedema CONDENSED_Lymphedema_ASelfCareGuide click here. If you are having signs of lymphedema, let your UNC Cancer Team know right away. Ask your doctor for a referral to the Lymphedema Clinic or call 984-974-9700. Our certified lymphedema therapists at UNC Health Care are able to determine how best to treat your swelling.