Each month, we ask a breast cancer expert to respond to your questions on a specific topic during an ask-the-expert residency. Answers to select questions will be posted to our website on an ongoing basis throughout the month.


The topic for the month of July is:


Understanding Lymphedema


If you want to know about what lymphedema is, what causes it, ways to reduce risk, and what treatment and management options are available, ask our expert your question using the form below.



While we make an effort to answer as many questions as we can, we are unable to answer all questions that are submitted. Our experts will answer questions on an ongoing basis throughout July; check back for updates.


If you have an urgent question or would like to speak to someone in person, please call our Survivors’ Helpline at (888) 753-LBBC (5222).



 About Our Expert


Andrea L. Cheville, MD, MCSE, is associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where she researches lymphedema and serves as chair and division chair for cancer rehabilitation and lymphedema services. Her research focuses on protecting the lymphatic system during primary breast cancer treatment and enhancing its innate capacity to heal, novel care delivery models for long-term lymphedema management, as well as strategies to reduce cancer-related lymphedema risk.


Dr. Cheville's training emphasized pain management, symptom control and functional preservation in all stages of cancer. In 1999 Dr. Cheville accepted the University of Pennsylvania Health System's invitation to develop a cancer rehabilitation and lymphedema program within the Abramson Family Cancer Institute.


Dr. Cheville has written and lectured extensively on these topics as well as on clinical lymphedema practice. Her research has been funded by the Department of Defense and National Cancer Institute. She hopes that we will eliminate breast cancer-related lymphedema within the next decade. 



Please do not submit any highly personal or identifying information (name, address, etc.) in your question. And remember: we cannot provide diagnoses, medical consultations or specific treatment recommendations. This service is designed for educational and informational purposes only. The information is general in nature. For specific healthcare questions or concerns, consult your healthcare provider because treatment varies with individual circumstances. The content is not intended in any way to substitute for professional counseling or medical advice.


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