Lymphedema pp 501-505 | Cite as

Breast Cancer

  • Sharon L. Kilbreath


In western society, the most common cause of lymphedema is treatment for breast cancer.1 The incidence of lymphedema depends upon the diagnostic criteria used, but occurs in at least 20% of women treated for breast cancer.1,2 For the majority of women who develop lymphedema, the complication will present within 3 years of surgery.2


Breast Cancer Sentinel Node Biopsy Lymphatic System Trunk Region Unilateral Breast Cancer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Hayes S, Janda M, Cornish B, Battistutta D, Newman B. Lymphedema secondary to breast cancer: how choice of measure influences diagnosis, prevalence, and identifiable risk factors. Lymphology. 2008;41:18-28.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rockson SG, Rockson SG. Diagnosis and management of lymphatic vascular disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;52:799-806.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lee TS, Kilbreath SL, Sullivan G, Refshauge KM, Beith JM. Patient perceptions of arm care and exercise advice after breast cancer surgery. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2010;37:85-91.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lee TS, Kilbreath SL, Sullivan G, Refshauge KM, Beith JM, et al. Factors that affect intention to avoid strenuous arm activity after breast cancer surgery. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2009;36:454-462.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nagel PH, Bruggink ED, Wobbes T, Strobbe LJ. Arm morbidity after complete axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer. Acta Chir Belg. 2003;103:212-216.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    van der Veen PH, De VN, Lievens P, Duquet W, Lamote J, et al. Lymphedema development following breast cancer surgery with full axillary resection. Lymphology. 2004;37:206-208.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Coen JJ, Taghian AG, Kachnic LA, Assaad SI, Powell SN. Risk of lymphedema after regional nodal irradiation with breast conservation therapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2003;55:1209-1215.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lee TS, Kilbreath SL, Refshauge KM, Herbert RD, Beith JM. Prognosis of the upper limb following surgery and radiation for breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2008;110:19-37.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Geller BM, Vacek PM, O’Brien P, Secker-Walker RH. Factors associated with arm swelling after breast cancer surgery. J Womens Health. 2003;12:921-930.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Veronesi U, Paganelli G, Viale G, Galimberti V, Luini A, et al. Sentinel lymph node biopsy and axillary dissection in breast cancer: results in a large series. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999;91:368-373.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Armer J, Fu MR, Wainstock JM, Zagar E, Jacobs LK. Lymphedema following breast cancer treatment, including sentinel lymph node biopsy. Lymphology. 2004;37:73-91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hayes SC, Janda M, Cornish B, Battistutta D, Newman B. Lymphedema after breast cancer: incidence, risk factors, and effect on upper body function. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26:3536-3542.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Clark B, Sitzia J, Harlow W, Clark B, Sitzia J, et al. Incidence and risk of arm oedema following treatment for breast cancer: a three-year follow-up study. QJM. 2005;98:343-348.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gillham L. Lymphoedema and physiotherapists: control not cure. Physiotherapy. 1994;80:835-843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Harris SR, Niesen-Vertommen SL. Challenging the myth of exercise-induced lymphedema following breast cancer: a series of case reports. J Surg Oncol. 2000;74:95-98.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    McKenzie DC, Kalda AL. Effect of upper extremity exercise on secondary lymphedema in breast cancer patients: a pilot study. J Clin Oncol. 2003;21:463-466.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ahmed RL, Thomas W, Yee D, Schmitz KH. Randomized controlled trial of weight training and lymphedema in breast cancer survivors. J Clin Oncol. 2006;24:2765-2772.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Turner J, Hayes S, Reul-Hirche H. Improving the physical status and quality of life of women treated for breast cancer: a pilot study of a structured exercise intervention. J Surg Oncol. 2004;86:141-146.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Schmitz KH, Ahmed RL, Troxel A, Cheville A, Smith R, et al. Weight lifting in women with breast-cancer-related lymphedema. N Engl J Med. 2009;361:664-673.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kilbreath SL, Ward LC, Lane K, McNeely M, Dylke ES, et al. Effect of air travel on lymphedema risk in women with history of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010;120(3):649-654.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ward LC, Battersby KJ, Kilbreath SL. Airplane travel and lymphedema: a case study. Lymphology. 2009;42:139-145.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Roberts CC, Levick JR, Stanton AW, Mortimer PS. Assessment of truncal edema following breast cancer treatment using modified Harpenden skinfold calipers. Lymphology. 1995;28:78-88.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Norman SA, Localio AR, Potashnik SL, Simoes Torpey HA, Kallan MJ, et al. Lymphedema in breast cancer survivors: incidence, degree, time course, treatment, and symptoms. J Clin Oncol. 2009;27:390-397.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bar Ad V, Cheville A, Solin L, Dutta P, Both S, et al. Time course of mild arm lymphedema after breast conservation treatment for early-stage breast cancer. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010;76:85-90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Oliveira MMF, Gurgel MSC, Miranda MS, Okubo MA, Feijo LFA, et al. Efficacy of shoulder exercises on locoregional complications in women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer: clinical trial. Rev Bras De Fisioterapia. 2009;13:136-144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cormier J, Xing Y, Zaniletti I, Askew R, Stewart B, et al. Minimal limb volume change has a significant impact on breast cancer survivors. Lymphology. 2009;42:161-175.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Stanton AW, Mellor RH, Cook GJ, Svensson WE, Peters AM, et al. Impairment of lymph drainage in subfascial compartment of forearm in breast cancer-related lymphedema. Lymphat Res Biol. 2003;1:121-132.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ward LC, Czerniec S, Kilbreath SL. Quantitative bioimpedance spectroscopy for the assessment of lymphoedema. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009;117:541-547.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Czerniec S, Kilbreath S, Ward L, Refshauge K, Beith J, et al., editors. Segmental measurement of breast cancer related arm lymphoedema using perometer and bioimpedance spectroscopy. Sydney Cancer Conference, Sydney, Australia, 2008.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Czerniec S, Ward L, Meerkin J, Refshauge K, Kilbreath S, editors. A Comparison of DEXA and BIS for the Measurement of Breast Cancer Related Arm Lymphoedema. 22nd International Lymphology Society Congress; Sydney, Australia, 2009, 21–25 September.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Brorson H, Ohlin K, Olsson G, Karlsson MK. Breast cancer-related chronic arm lymphedema is associated with excess adipose and muscle tissue. Lymphat Res Biol. 2009;7:3-10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Brorson H, Ohlin K, Olsson G, Nilsson M. Adipose tissue dominates chronic arm lymphedema following breast cancer: an analysis using volume rendered CT images. Lymphat Res Biol. 2006;4:199-210.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Rockson SG. Lymphedema. Am J Med. 2001;110:288-295.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon L. Kilbreath
    • 1
  1. 1.Breast Cancer Research Group of the Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of SydneyLidcombeAustralia

Personalised recommendations