Combined Complete Decongestive Therapy Reduces Volume and Improves Quality of Life and Functional Status in Patients With Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema

Elsevier, Clinical Breast Cancer, Volume 22, April 2022
Borman P., Yaman A., Yasrebi S., Pinar Inanli A., Arikan Donmez A.
Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of complete decongestive therapy (CDT) in patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL), in regard to volume reduction, functional status and quality of life (QoL). Methods: Fifty patients with unilateral BCRL were included. The demographic variables focusing on lymphedema were recorded. All patients received combined phase 1 CDT including skin-care, manual lymphatic drainage, multilayer bandaging and supervised exercises, 5 times a week for 3 weeks, as a total of 15 sessions. Patients were assessed by limb volumes and excess volumes according to geometric approximation derived from serial circumference-measurements of the limb, prior and at the end of third week. The functional disability was evaluated by quick disability of arm, shoulder and hand questionnaire (Q-DASH). QoL was assessed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30) and its breast-cancer-module (EORTC QLQ-BR23). Results: Fifty females with mean age of 53.22 ± 11.2 years were included. The median duration of lymphedema was 12 months. There were 22 patients in stage1, 26 in stage2 and 2 patients in stage3. The mean baseline limb and excess volumes were significantly decreased at the end of therapies (3262 ± 753 cm³ vs. 2943 ± 646.6 cm³ and 31.36% ± 16.5% vs. 19.12% ± 10.4%, pP= 0.000 respectively). The Q-DASH and EORTC QLQ-C30 and BR23 scores were also decreased significantly (pP