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
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."
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