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Predictors of Lymphedema Following Breast Cancer Surgery

18 Years
Not Enrolling
Breast Cancer, Lymphedema

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Trial Information

Predictors of Lymphedema Following Breast Cancer Surgery

Surgery for breast cancer includes removal of the breast tumor along with the axillary lymph
nodes. The status of these nodes helps clinicians determine prognosis and guides treatment
decisions. Unfortunately, a relatively common side effect following axillary lymph node
dissection is upper-extremity lymphedema. The purpose of this study is to identify risk
factors for lymphedema among women who have had axillary surgery for breast cancer. Specific
aims include identifying risk factors for lymphedema and comparing quality of life (QOL)
ratings for women who have and do not have lymphedema. A case-control study will be
conducted with enrollment of 200 participants. Cases will be identified at their lymphedema
consult in the physical therapy centers. Using the oncology registry, controls will include
patients who have had breast cancer surgery and have not developed lymphedema. The severity
of lymphedema and interference with daily life will be assessed with the Measure of Arm
Symptom Survey (MASS), a patient-completed survey, and QOL will be collected with the SF-36.
Treatment risk factors including previous surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy will be
obtained from oncology registry data. This study will determine which factors play a role in
lymphedema development.

Inclusion Criteria:

- Clinical diagnosis of lymphedema

- Axillary node surgery by sentinel node or axillary node dissection

- No known metastatic disease in the axilla

- Able and willing to give informed consent

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Observational Model: Case Control, Time Perspective: Prospective

Principal Investigator

Karen K Swenson, RN, MS, PhDc

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

Park Nicollet Institute


United States: Federal Government

Study ID:




Start Date:

January 2003

Completion Date:

May 2008

Related Keywords:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Lymphedema
  • Breast cancer
  • Lymphedema
  • Quality of life
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Lymphedema



Park Nicollet InstituteSt Louis Park, Minnesota  55416
Fairview UniversityMinneapolis, Minnesota  55455
North Memorial Medical CenterMinneapolis, Minnesota  55422