What are risk factors for developing cancer related lymphedema?

What are risk factors for developing cancer related lymphedema?

The most important treatment and patient-related risk factors for breast cancer-related lymphedema were obesity (≥25 kg/m2), axillary lymph node dissection, postoperative radiotherapy, wound infection, history of lymphangitis, and duration of axillary drainage.

What are the risk factors for lymphedema?

Factors that may increase your risk of developing lymphedema after cancer, from cancer treatment or from other secondary causes include:

  • Older age.
  • Excess weight or obesity.
  • Rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis.

Is lymphoedema after breast cancer curable?

Lymphedema can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Any swelling should be checked by a healthcare provider right away. There’s no way to know who will and won’t get lymphedema, but there are things that can be done to help prevent it.

Which of the following is an important predictor for lymphedema after treatment for breast cancer?

Risk factors — The main risk factors for breast cancer-associated lymphedema (BCAL) include invasive cancer diagnosis, dissection/disruption of axillary lymph nodes, radiation therapy, local infection, and obesity, but other factors may also contribute [3-5].

What are the four stages of lymphedema?


  • Stage 1: Abnormal flow in the lymphatic system. No signs or symptoms.
  • Stage 2: Accumulation of fluid with swelling.
  • Stage 3: Permanent swelling that does not resolve with elevation.
  • Stage 4: Elephantiasis (large deformed limb), skin thickening with “wart-like” growth and extensive scarring.

What cancer treatments commonly result in lymphedema?

Lymphedema that is related to cancer is most commonly caused by lymph node removal during surgery for cancer, radiation treatment to the lymph node area, and/or by the tumor itself, which might block part of the lymph system.

What percentage of breast cancer patients develop lymphedema?

About 90 percent of women who will develop lymphedema do so within three years of breast cancer treatment. It occurs in about 20 percent of women who undergo axillary lymph node dissection (ALND)—a procedure in which 10–20 lymph nodes (on average) in the armpit are removed and checked for cancer cells.

Can you get lymphedema 20 years after breast cancer?

Incidence and Diagnosis [5] Petrek et al followed 263 patients and found that nearly 50% developed lymphedema by 20 years. [5] These data suggest that lymphedema is probably more common than generally reported, and clearly the length of follow-up in a given study influences the reported incidence.

What are the risk factors for lymphedema after breast cancer?

Being overweight or obese: People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop lymphedema after breast cancer treatment. Overweight is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 25-29.9, obese as a BMI of 30 or greater. For example, a 5’5” woman weighing 150 pounds or more is considered overweight and obese at 180 pounds or more.

What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

Lymphedema Risk Factors and Treatment Options for Breast Cancer Patients. One such complication is lymphedema. Lymphedema is the persistent swelling of the arm that may occur after mastectomy and lymph node removal during breast cancer treatment, due to the buildup of excess lymphatic fluid.

What to do if you have lymphedema in the breast?

Lymphedema. If the cancer has spread, it has most likely moved into the underarm lymph nodes first because they drain lymph from the breast. Many people also need radiation therapy to the chest area and/or underarm. Surgery and radiation can cut off or damage some of the nodes and vessels that lymph moves through.

Which is more likely to cause lymphedema, ALND or SLNB?

Axillary lymph node dissection (ALND), the procedure that removes many or most of the nodes (typically anywhere from 5 to 30), is associated with higher risk than sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). According to the National Cancer Institute, anywhere from 5-17% of women who have SLNB develop lymphedema.