Lymphedema following gynaecological cancer

Cancer-related lymphedema is a debilitating condition that adversely influences quality of life. Lymphoedema is a potential problematic complication following treatment for cancer and is the accumulation of excessive amounts of fluid resulting in swelling, most commonly in the arms or legs, but can also occur in other parts of the body.

Findings from the LEGS study (Lymphedema Evaluation in Gynaecological Cancer Study) indicate Lymphedema after gynecological cancer is a common survivorship concern. A clinic-based sample of women (n=408) with gynecological cancer and lymphedema in one or both legs participated in the study. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, incidence, and risk factors of lower-limb lymphedema. Improving Health Outcomes for People researcher Prof Sandi Hayes is the lead author of the study published in Gynecologic Oncology. Fifty per cent of women show evidence of lymphedema within 2 years post-gynaecological cancer.

Findings from this study support the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight and participating in regular physical activity post cancer diagnosis. QUT Improving Health Outcomes for People researchers will use this information to advance our understanding of gynaecological cancer survivorship and guide future lymphoedema clinical practice.

Source: Hayes C, et al. Lymphedema following gynecological cancer: Results from a prospective, longitudinal cohort study on prevalence, incidence and risk factors. Gynecol Oncol. 2017 Jun 14.

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