Quality of life of women with lower limb swelling or lymphedema 3-5 years following endometrial cancer

Rowlands, Ingrid J., Beesley, Vanessa L., Janda, Monika, Hayes, Sandra C., Obermair, Andreas, Quinn, Michael A., Brand, Alison, Leung, Yee, McGuire, Lesley, & Webb, Penelope M. (2014) Quality of life of women with lower limb swelling or lymphedema 3-5 years following endometrial cancer. Gynecologic Oncology, 133(2), pp. 314-318.

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To quantitatively assess and compare the quality of life (QoL) of women with a self-reported diagnosis of lower limb lymphedema (LLL), to women with lower limb swelling (LLS), and to women without LLL or LLS following treatment for endometrial cancer.


1399 participants in the Australian National Endometrial Cancer Study were sent a follow-up questionnaire 3–5 years after diagnosis. Women were asked if they had experienced swelling in the lower limbs and, if so, whether they had received a diagnosis of lymphedema by a health professional. The 639 women who responded were categorised as: Women with LLL (n = 68), women with LLS (n = 177) and women without LLL or LLS (n = 394). Multivariable-adjusted generalized linear models were used to compare women’s physical and mental QoL by LLL status.


On average, women were 65 years of age and 4 years after diagnosis. Women with LLL had clinically lower physical QoL (M= 41.8, SE= 1.4) than women without LLL or LLS (M= 45.1, SE= 0.8, p = .07), however, their mental QoL was within the normative range (M= 49.6; SE= 1.1 p = 1.0). Women with LLS had significantly lower physical (M= 41.0, SE= 1.0, p = .003) and mental QoL (M= 46.8; SE= 0.8, p < .0001) than women without LLL or LLS (Mental QoL: M= 50.6, SE= 0.8).


Although LLL was associated with reductions in physical QoL, LLS was related to reductions in both physical and mental QoL 3-5 years after cancer treatment. Early referral to evidence-based lymphedema programs may prevent long-term impairments to women’s QoL.

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ID Code: 68240
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: endometrial cancer, lymphedema, lower-limb swelling, quality of life
DOI: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.03.003
ISSN: 0090-8258
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Gynecologic Oncology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Gynecologic Oncology, VOL 133, ISSUE 2 (2014). DOI: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.03.003
Deposited On: 11 Mar 2014 23:28
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2015 19:12

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