Breast-Cancer Related Lymphedema: A Review of Procedure-Specific Incidence Rates, Clinical Assessment Aids, Treatment Paradigms, and Risk Reduction
The Breast Journal, 07/05/2012
Shah C et al. – Awareness of the frequency of this toxicity is now important as more accurate clinical aids have become accessible to diagnose the condition at an earlier stage allowing timely intervention providing the opportunity for treatment strategies to be more effective.
- With improved outcomes following treatment of breast cancer, chronic toxicities including breast cancer related lymphedema (BCRL), gain increased significance with limited evidence–based guidelines present.
- This review attempts to summarize data addressing these concerns and provides recommendations based on currently published data.
- Substantial differences exist in rates of BCRL reported in the literature ranging from less than 5% to 65% based on locoregional therapy.
- Based on recent data, early diagnosis of BCRL appears critical and requires careful attention to patient risk factors and the use of newer diagnostic tools.
- Initial treatment with decongestive lymphatic therapy/compressive stockings can provide significant improvement in patient symptoms and volume reduction of edematous extremities.
- At this time, consensus recommendations for disease classification, diagnostic testing and treatment are still lacking.