Postoperative weight gain during treatment of breast cancer is an important factor for both the patient’s development of lymphedema and response to treatment, according to an article published online in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer.
In this study, the files of patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema (from 2006 to 2012) were analyzed retrospectively, and patient demographics, clinical variables, patient variables, and circumference measurements (of lymphedema and healthy arms) were recorded.
A total of 331 patients were evaluated, with an average age of 54.4 ± 10.9 years and an average length of lymphedema treatment of 2.92 ± 1.3 weeks.
Results showed postoperative weight gain was significantly associated with postoperative duration, number of chemotherapy (CT) cycles, duration of tamoxifen use, and duration of hormonal therapy (P<0.05). The authors found a statistically significant negative correlation between post-treatment arm volume and activity level, postoperative duration, and postoperative weight gain (P<0.05).
Furthermore, the investigators concluded that the breast cancer treatment methods had no effect on patients’ response to treatment of lymphedema.
The study suggests its findings, specifically the correlation between activity level and postoperative weight gain, may provide guidance in clinical practice.
In clinical practice, noticeable differences are seen in patient response to the treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema. Although some factors influencing response to treatment are mentioned in the literature, there is no sufficient evidence and results are confusing. For this reason, our objective in this study is to identify predictive and response-related factors for response to treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema.