Study Finds Physicians, Patients 

Differ In Recognition Of Lymphedema

Researchers have found that physicians do not recognize signs of lymphedema in their post-surgery/radiation breast cancer patients as often as do the patients themselves.

In a survey of 377 breast cancer patients, investigators from the State University of New York at Stony Brook's University Hospital said 13 percent of the group -- 50 women -- said they had developed lymphedema following their breast cancer procedures.

However, their radiation oncologists reported lymphedema in 13 of the women. Jennifer Anderson, a researcher at the hospital, reported the results in a poster presentation at the 4th National Lymphedema Network (NLN) conference. More than 600 patients, advocates, clinicians, therapists and doctors are attending the four-day meeting.

The NLN meets every two years to assess progress in treatment and prevention of lymphedema. "These results suggest that physicians may be underreporting lymphedema on breast cancer patients," Anderson reported. "Good collaborative efforts with physical therapy treatment clinics are needed for accurate reporting of the development and severity of lymphedema in breast cancer patients and to assure that appropriate treatment is delivered."

Thanks to the Doctor's Guide

Prevalance of Self-Reported LE: Australia

The Breast, 12/01

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