Canadian Lymphedema Framework

Registered Name: Canadian Lymphedema Framework / Partenariat Canadien du lymphoedème

Business Number: 851601260RR0001

Our Mission

The Canadian Lymphedema Framework (CLF) will work to improve the management of lymphedema and related disorders in Canada. In collaboration with the International Lymphoedema Framework (ILF) and other National Frameworks, we will contribute to the global international advancement of lymphedema care.

About Canadian Lymphedema Framework

We are the first Canadian organization working nationally to address lymphedema concerns. A collaboration among health professionals, community based organizations, patients and industry partners to improve standards of lymphedema management in Canada. Part of an international initiative to promote research, best practice guidelines and lymphedema clinical development both in Canada and around the world.

What is Lymphedema?  (lim-fa-DEE-ma)

Lymphedema is a lifelong condition caused by a buildup of lymph fluid. This happens when the lymphatic system is either faulty or damaged and cannot function as normal. It leads to chronic (long-lasting) swelling in the tissues where the lymph flow is blocked. You can be born with lymphedema(primary lymphedema), or can develop it later in life after damaging your lymph nodes(secondary lymphedema). This can lead to lifelong disability and impaired movement without proper treatment.  

Risk Factors for Developing Lymphedema

  • cancer survivors have a lifelong risk for lymphedema if they have had lymph nodes or vessels removed or damaged during treatment
  • If you had surgery, the number, size and location of lymph nodes removed or damaged will be an important factor in the development of lymphedema 
  • If you had radiation therapy or an injury, the degree of damage to your lymphatic system
  • Having chronic venous disease
  • Having a history of skin infections, including cellulitis
  • Being overweight and/or inactive add to these risk factors

What People Are Saying

"Lymphedema can affect up to 30% of breast cancer survivors. The challenge is getting the word out"

— Kathy Bates, Oscar Winning Actress

"I felt the positive energy as soon as I entered the room. I learned so much and now am more confident to manage my lymphedema on a daily basis"

— 2011 ILF/CLF Conference Patient Attendee

"Gained valuable knowledge to bring home to provide better care to my patients "

— 2017 Conference Medical Professional Attendee

"I consider myself very fortunate to work every day at something I am passionate about; helping people achieve a better quality of life. "

— Anna Kennedy, CLF Executive Director

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