Vaiva Cechanovičiūtė, Inga Cechanovičienė
Breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) is a negative outcome of breast cancer or its treatment, which affects 1 of every 5 patients. Disruption of the lymph flow results in its accumulation in the tissues with resulting edema. Diagnosis is based on the presence of symptoms such as progressive upper extremity swelling, limb pain and discomfort, skin changes, restricted range of motion, and the measurement of the extremity girth. First-line treatment is nonivasive, which includes compressions or physiotherapy. Prevention strategy focuses on compression therapy or exercises, however, limiting the extent of lymph node removal is the only measure shown to reduce the incidence of BCRL.
Keyword(s): breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL), upper limb lymphedema, risk factors, lymphedema diagnosis, lymphedema prevention, lymphedema management.