ABSTRACT: Prognostic factors for lymphedema after primary treatment
of breast carcinoma
[10/09/2001; Cancer Online (Free Registration Required)]
BACKGROUND: Lymphedema of the arm is a serious consequence of breast
Postmastectomy lymphedema of the upper limb
usually is related to certain risk factors such as axillary surgery,
radiotherapy, obesity, venous outflow obstruction, delayed wound
healing, and infection.
The objective of the current study was
to identify the risk factors for secondary lymphedema after breast
RESULTS: Two hundred three cases of lymphedema of the
ipsilateral arm were found (15.9%). The right arm was affected
in 44.5% of the cases and the left arm in 55.5%.
The risk of
developing late lymphedema was found to be significantly related
to a pathologic T2 classification (hazards ratio [HR] = 1.44;
95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.06-1.94) and postoperative
radiotherapy (HR = 1.35; 95%CI, 1.00-1.83).
Patients who had
> 30 lymph nodes removed were found to have a borderline increased
risk of lymphedema (HR = 1.64; 95% CI, 0.99-2.74).
analysis identified postoperative radiotherapy (HR = 1.38; 95%
CI, 1.02-1.86) and the number of lymph nodes removed (HR = 1.29;
95% CI, 1.04-1.59) to be independent predictors of lymphedema.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of the current study demonstrated that
the risk of lymphedema was correlated with the use of postoperative
radiotherapy and the number of lymph nodes removed.
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