Importance of early intervention for head and neck lymphoedema

Lymphoedema can develop anywhere in the body. When it develops in the head, face, and neck it can quickly impact on functionality and quality of life. This is why early referral to a Lymphoedema Therapist specialising in head and neck lymphoedema treatment is key to reducing swelling and minimising the long-term impact.

Cancer Rehabilitation & Lymphatic Solutions based in Erina is the only private clinic on the Central Coast that solely focuses on providing cancer rehabilitation and lymphoedema expert services!

Treatment for cancer in the head and neck usually involves surgery, radiotherapy and sometimes chemotherapy. These can all impact on lymphatic drainage pathways due to lymph node removal and the formation of radiation fibrosis. Head and neck lymphoedema (HNL) is a common and often debilitating cancer treatment effect.

What is head and neck lymphoedema?

Head and neck lymphoedema occurs when the body is unable to transport protein rich fluid (lymph fluid) due to damage to the lymphatic system. The fluid can build up and cause swelling in the neck, face, and throat. This is known as lymphoedema. It can be permanent and may change your appearance, restrict ability to swallow, reduce neck range of movement, and can sometimes cause swelling inside the mouth and tongue.


Signs of lymphoedema

Symptoms of lymphoedema are easier to manage if the condition is treated early. The main signs of lymphoedema include swelling, redness, and skin changes. Sometimes the swelling develops internally and is hard to see but the area may feel different (e.g., mild tingling/heaviness). It is important to look out for these signs and see a specialist as early as possible.


Seek a referral from a lymphoedema specialist early

Treatment for head and neck cancer is often difficult both physically and emotionally, and it will take some time to recover. Side effects can be temporary, long-lasting, or permanent, and some will need ongoing management and treatment which is why it is so important to seek help from a Lymphoedema specialist therapist as soon as possible.

Founder of Cancer Rehabilitation & Lymphatic Solutions and Coastal Rehab Hub and head OT, Kate Perkins completed further study through the ALERT Program at Macquarie University as a Head and Neck Lymphoedema specialist therapist. The clinic offers a range of comprehensive services for patents to enable them to recover faster, stronger, and full of energy.


Find out more about Lymphoedema services at Cancer Rehab & Lymphatic Solutions.

Find out more about MLS Laser Therapy at Cancer Rehab & Lymphatic Solutions.


Contact the caring and highly experienced team at Cancer Rehabilitation and Lymphatic Solutions today!