Comparison of Methods to Diagnose Lymphoedema Among Breast Cancer Survivors: 6-Month follow-up

Hayes, Sandra C., Cornish, Bruce H., & Newman, Beth M. (2005) Comparison of Methods to Diagnose Lymphoedema Among Breast Cancer Survivors: 6-Month follow-up. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 89(3), pp. 221-226.

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One of the more problematic and dreaded complications of breast cancer is lymphoedema. Our objective was to determine the prevalence of lymphoedema 6-months following breast cancer treatment and to examine potential risk factors among a population-based sample of women residing in South-East Queensland (n =176). Women were defined as having lymphoedema if the difference between the sum of arm circumferences (SOAC) of the treated and untreated sides was >5 cm (prevalence=11.9%) or >10% (prevalence=0.6%), their multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance (MFBIA) score was greater than or equal to 3 standard deviations above the reference impedance score (prevalence=11.4%), or they reported 'yes' when asked if arm swelling had been present in the previous 6 months (prevalence=27.8%). Of those with lymphoedema defined by MFBIA, only 35% were detected using the SOAC method (difference > 5 cm), while 65% were identified via the self-report method (i.e., respective sensitivities). Specificities for SOAC (difference > 5 cm) and self-report were 88.5% and 76.9%, respectively. When examining associations between presence of lymphoedema and a range of characteristics, findings also varied depending on the method used to assess lymphoedema. Nevertheless, one of the more novel and significant findings was that being treated on the non-dominant, compared to dominant, side was associated with an 80% increased risk of having lymphoedema (MFBIA). Our work raises questions about the use of circumferences as the choice of measurement for lymphoedema in both research and clinical settings, and assesses MFBIA as a potential alternative.

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ID Code: 7541
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Breast Cancer, Lymphoedema, Measurement, Prevalence
DOI: 10.1007/s10549-004-2045-x
ISSN: 0167-6806
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Springer
Copyright Statement: The original publication is available at SpringerLink
Deposited On: 14 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:14

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