The lymphatic system transports fluid from the interstitium into the vascular network of lymphatic vessels through a series of valves, nodes and post-nodal ducts that converge into the subclavian veins. The lymphatics are intimately involved in fluid circulation, macromolecular homeostasis, lipid absorption, and immune function. All of these functions rely on the generation and regulation of lymph flow along the collecting lymphatic vessels. An imbalance between the lymphatic load and the ability to transport lymph can lead to lymphedema. Lymphedema occurs with a pathological increased in load, impaired vasculature (either anatomically or functionally deranged), or in situations where there is a relative distortion of both factors [1]. Edema has become a growing concern amongst breast cancer patients; surveys have reported up to 90% of women develop lymphedema in their arms within 3 years of nodal dissection surgery [2]. Despite these statistics, our knowledge of edema remains very basic and thus there is a lack of effective treatment.

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