Study Looks at Lymphedema Risk Factors

http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/study-looks-at-lymphedema-risk-factors

Lymphedema is swelling of the arm, hand, chest wall, trunk, back, or other body part caused by lymph fluid collecting in tissue after surgery, especially breast cancer surgery that removes underarm (axillary) lymph nodes. Edema is the medical term for swelling, so swelling caused by lymph fluid is “lymphedema.”

Lymphedema can reduce your ability to use your arm or the affected area, as well as increase your risk for infection in the area. Lymphedema also can be painful, can change the quality of the skin in the affected area, and decrease quality of life.

Individual studies have reported that as little as 10% up to as many as 90% of women develop lymphedema after breast cancer surgery and radiation therapy. Such a wide range of results may be due to:

  • researchers have used different ways of defining and then measuring lymphedema
  • many of these studies have involved small numbers of patients
  • many studies were done with women who had a large number of underarm lymph nodes removed, which used to be standard practice

Today, many experts estimate that the range is probably close to 20-30%.

While having a large number of lymph nodes removed and having radiation therapy are known risk factors for lymphedema, research looking at other factors, such as airplane travel and having blood pressure readings on the affected arm, have produced mixed results. In groups of women with the same demographic, surgical, and treatment characteristics, some developed lymphedema and some didn’t, making it unclear which factors affected lymphedema risk the most.

A study looked at a number of potential lifestyle and clinical risk factors for lymphedema and assessed the relationship between the risk factors and developing lymphedema.

The research was published online on Oct. 4, 2017 by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read the abstract of <a href="http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2017.73….

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Trump Orders May Raise Rates, Result in More Uninsured

http://www.lbbc.org/news-opinion/trump-orders-may-raise-rates-result-more-uninsured

Policy changes will effect future markets but premium subsidies and patient protections safe going into open enrollment
Breast Cancer News
October 18, 2017
Author: 
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Mastectomy

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/mastectomy

Mastectomy is surgery to remove a breast. On these pages, you can find out more about different types of mastectomy, get help with decision-making, and learn what to expect during and after surgery.

In this section:

<img src="http://www.breastcancer.org/system/images/assets/000/000/788/original/Commu…

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Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/mastectomy/nipple-sparing

Nipple-sparing mastectomy keeps the nipple and areola intact along with the breast skin. There are many different incisions used to do this surgery. One incision is made under the fold of the breast. Other incisions begin near the areola and extend towards the outer portion of the breast.

In all cases, all visible breast tissue is removed. In the past this was called a subcutaneous mastectomy. No matter what incision is used, tissue beneath the nipple and areola are checked for cancer. If cancer is detected, the nipple is removed, converting the procedure to a skin-sparing mastectomy.

With either surgery, breasts are then reconstructed with an implant or tissue taken from another area of the body.

Candidates for nipple-sparing mastectomy include:

  • women whose tumor does not involve the nipple or tissue under the areola
  • women whose tumors are surrounded by a clear margin of cancer-free tissue
  • women who have not been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer or advanced breast cancer with skin involvement

Nipple Sparing Mastectomy

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Is Mastectomy Right for You?

http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/surgery/mastectomy/who_for

Mastectomy may be the right choice for you if the following is true for you:

  • If the tumor is larger than 5 centimeters, you will probably need a mastectomy. Depending on stage and other factors, some tumors smaller than 5 centimeters may still require mastectomy, although others may be addressed by lumpectomy.
  • If your breast is small and a lumpectomy would leave you with very little breast tissue, your doctor may advise you to have a mastectomy.
  • If your surgeon has already made multiple attempts to remove the tumor with lumpectomy, but has not been able to completely remove the cancer and obtain clear margins, you may need a mastectomy.
  • If lumpectomy plus radiation is not an option for your small tumor (for example, under 4 centimeters) because you have had prior radiation to the same breast, you have a connective tissue disease (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis), you are pregnant, or you do not want to commit to daily radiation treatment, you may need to have a mastectomy.
  • If you believe mastectomy would give you greater peace of mind than lumpectomy, you might decide to have a mastectomy.

Mastectomy and Reconstruction Videos

Personal Quote

“My decision to have a double mastectomy was guided by my age, family history and attitudes about my breasts. I’d gained weight and had actually become uncomfortable with my breasts, and all my life I’d had a history of tenderness in my breasts. So I felt I wasn’t going to miss them very much.”

— Nancy
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