Care of Cancer-Linked Lymphedema Progress Detailed

Share this content:
Advances in treatment offer insight into lymphedema management, improvements in care.
Advances in treatment offer insight into lymphedema management, improvements in care.

Recent developments are affecting the management of cancer-related lymphedema, according to an article published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Simona F. Shaitelman, M.D., Ed.M., from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues provide an overview of recent developments in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer-related lymphedema.

The authors note that lymphedema is a significant health issue for cancer survivors, affecting patients' health-related quality of life.

The incidence of lymphedema varies with tumor site; lymphedema measurement includes different objective and subjective tools, with the differences among measurement tools affecting the reported incidence of lymphedema.

Recent advances in imaging have been helpful for visualizing lymphatics and identifying lymphedema. The optimal treatment for lymphedema remains controversial, with complete decongestive therapy recognized as the current standard of care. Other treatment options include bandaging, exercise, and surgery.

RELATED: Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis May Reliably Detect Lymphedema in Breast Cancer Survivors

Preventive measures include sentinel lymph node biopsy, axillary reverse mapping, surgery, and prospective surveillance.

"Aside from advances in the identification of lymphedema, advances in its treatment offer insight and improvements into the management of this chronic, progressive condition," the authors write. "Although lymphedema remains a significant survivorship issue after cancer treatment, more reasonable management plans and potential preventive approaches have allowed for patients to continue to thrive."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical device industry.


  1. Shaitelman, Simona F., MD, EdM, et al. "Recent progress in the treatment and prevention of cancer-related lymphedema." A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. DOI: 10.3322/caac.21253. November 19, 2014.

Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Cancer Therapy Advisor to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings


Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Prostate Cancer Regimens Drugs
Rare Cancers Regimens
Renal Cell Carcinoma Regimens Drugs
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs
Urologic Cancers Regimens Drugs