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Breast Care (Basel). 2012 Dec;7(6):461-4. doi: 10.1159/000345459.

Risk Factors Associated with Lymphedema among Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Survivors after Radical Mastectomy and Axillary Dissection in China.

Author information

1
Nursing College of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.
2
Department of Public Health, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China.

Abstract

in English, German

BACKGROUND:

Lymphedema is the major complication following breast cancer treatment and can persist long periods of time and affect breast cancer survivors' quality of life. Accurate estimation of the risk factors for lymphedema is of significant importance. In this article we report the factors for secondary lymphedema among postmenopausal breast cancer patients after radical mastectomy in China.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A total of 126 consecutive postmenopausal breast cancer patients who received radical mastectomy were admitted to the Chongqing Breast Cancer Center between July 2009 and June 2010. Circumferential measurement was used to diagnose lymphedema.

RESULTS:

Among the 126 postmenopausal women with breast cancer, 54 (42.9%) had lymphedema. Body mass index (BMI), lymph nodes status, and radiotherapy were associated with lymphedema. BMI ≥ 25 kg/m(2) (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 7.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.8-20.1) and radiotherapy (adjusted OR = 3.0; 95% CI 2.0-9.2) were independent predictors of lymphedema.

CONCLUSION:

BMI, lymph nodes status, and radiotherapy were the risk factors for lymphedema among Chinese postmenopausal breast cancer patients who underwent radical mastectomy. Clinicians should provide sufficient information for patients and their caregivers to prevent this complication, especially for those who are at high risk of developing lymphedema.

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer; Chinese women; Lymphedema; Nursing

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