Update on lymphoedema
This week’s expert:
Prof John Boyages, Professor of Breast Oncology and Director of the Macquarie University Cancer Institute
Drawn from Dr Terry Foran’s interview with Prof John Boyages on the Healthed Podcast, ‘The Women’s and Children’s Health Update’.
– Lymphoedema is categorised as being primary (as in hereditary) or secondary. Most cases are secondary resulting from surgical clearance of lymph nodes (axilla or groin) +/- radiotherapy. Other causes include trauma, other types of surgery such varicose veins operations
– Watch for a malignant cause eg as a result of a tumour obstructing or invading draining lymphatics
– Overall lymphoedema complicates about 20% of cases of breast cancer treatment. It is more common where there has been axillary lymph node clearance (25%) and where there has been radiotherapy in addition to lymph node clearance (30-35%).
– Factors that increase ...