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Bull Cancer. 2007 Jul;94(7):669-74.

[Management of lymphedema of the upper extremity after treatment of breast cancer].

[Article in French]

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Unité de lymphologie, hôpital Cognacq-Jay, 15, rue Eugène Millon, 75015 Paris.


Management of breast cancer-related lymphedema is based on complex decongestive physiotherapy including two phases. The first intensive phase reduces lymphedema volume with daily low stretch bandages associated with manual lymph drainage. Treatment includes exercises and skin care. The second phase of treatment consists of stabilization of lymphedema volume with regular overnight self-bandaging, daily elastic compression garment and manual lymph drainage if needed. Lymphedema volume may be stabilized after the intensive phase if the patient is compliant to long term treatment. Practical advices such as weight control and skin care to avoid cellulitis should be given. Regular and prolonged medical follow-up is required for this chronic disease to maintain motivation of the patient.

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