Breast cancer has served as a catalyst for improvements in lymphedema care and research for the last 20 years. Awareness must be extended to other instigating factors in light of shifting epidemiology. The aging population, obesity epidemic, and higher 5-year cancer survival rates are changing the face of lymphedema. Lymphedema patients are now older, heavier, and more medically complex. A higher proportion have nonbreast malignancies and advanced cancer. This article describes the current standard of care, as well as recent concessions for patient comfort, convenience, and economic reality. Primary prevention remains underemphasized. Patient education, timely diagnosis, and the early initiation of treatment represent important targets for improvement. Hopefully, new diagnostic tools for detecting subclinical lymphedema, identifying modifiable risk factors, and better understanding lymphedema pathogenesis will improve primary prevention and care.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2007|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation