Risk factors associated and breast cancer-related lymphedema

Cutaneous B-Cell Lymphoma and Lymphedema, Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma and Lymphedema, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Kidney and Renal Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Testicular, arm swelling, Skin Cancer, angiosarcoma, kaposi's sarcoma, gallium scan, axillary node dissection, gynecological cancer, axillary reverse mapping, lymphatic cancers, inguinal node dissection, cancer treatment, Complete decongestive therapy for arm lymphedema, lymphedema therapy, intensive decongestive physiotherapy, breast cancer related lymphedema, upper limb lymphedema

Moderators: Birdwatcher, jenjay, Cassie, patoco, Senior Moderators

Risk factors associated and breast cancer-related lymphedema

Postby patoco » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:43 am

Risk factors associated with breast cancer-related lymphedema in the WHEL Study.

Dec 2012

Dominick SA, Madlensky L, Natarajan L, Pierce JP.


Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.



Lymphedema is a significant health problem faced by a large percentage of breast cancer survivors. The Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Study has a unique dataset collected after the completion of breast cancer treatment, which allowed a focused analysis of risk factors for breast cancer-related lymphedema.


Participant characteristics, treatment modalities, and health behaviors were examined as potential predictors of lymphedema among breast cancer survivors with univariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression.


Lymphedema status was assessed for 83 % of the study cohort (2,431 of the 2,917 WHEL participants). Among these respondents, 692 (28.5 %) women reported yes to either a physician's diagnosis of lymphedema or a question on arm/hand swelling. When compared to other participants, women with lymphedema were diagnosed at a younger age, more likely to have a higher body mass index, had a larger tumor size, had more lymph nodes removed, more likely to have a mastectomy with radiation therapy, and more likely to have chemotherapy. In the final multivariate-adjusted model, body mass index greater than 25 kg/m(2) (p < 0.01), the removal of 11 or more lymph nodes (p < 0.01), and breast cancer surgery plus radiation therapy (p < 0.01) showed a strong independent association with developing breast cancer-related lymphedema.


The results of this study highlight the importance of educating breast cancer survivors about the modifiable risk factors (e.g., body mass index) associated with the development of lymphedema.

Breast cancer survivors at risk for lymphedema may benefit from interventions aimed at achieving or maintaining a healthy body weight.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 2175
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2006 9:07 pm

Return to Lymphedema and Cancer Information

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests