Prognostic Factors for LE

after Primary Treatment of Bca

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 carcinoma treatment.

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 carcinoma treatment.

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).

Multivariate 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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