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Chest lymphedema after breast cancer treatment

Jose Maria Pereira de Godoy, Stelamarys Barufi, Maria de Fatima Guerreiro Godoy

One of the main complications in the treatment of breast cancer is lymphedema. The tests are more specific for the diagnosis of lymphedema in the extremities, though the lymphatic drainage of the chest is also compromised and in need. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the prevalence of chest edema in patients who had been submitted to breast cancer treatment. The prevalence of chest edema in 35 women being treated for arm lymphedema due to breast cancer treatment was evaluated in a retrospective randomized quantitative, blind study in the Clinica Godoy in the period from January to October 2012 using bioimpedance of the thorax. For the descriptive analysis of the results will be used prevalence of the event. The patients’ ages ranged from 42 to 82 years old with an average of 63.7 years. Eight patients had a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25, 16 had between 25 to 30 and 10 had a BMI greater than 30. Chest edema was detected by bioimpedance in four (11.42%) patients. Chest lymphedema is less prevalent than upper limb lymphedema in patients submitted to axillary dissection or it improves faster.

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