Do all women get lymphedema following breast cancer surgery?

Usually, only women who have lymph node spread of their breast cancer are at risk for lymphedema following breast cancer surgery.  Only 30% of these women with positive lymph nodes will get lymphedema and most these cases are minor.  These minor cases of lymphedema are easily treated with physical therapy and massage.  Rarely do patients get significant edema, which causes them to alter their daily routines.  In the distant past, when radical mastectomy was the standard therapy for breast cancer, massive lymphedema was more common.  Thankfully, today, surgery is much more conservative and massive lymphedema is rare.