Obesity increases lymphedema risk for breast cancer survivors
Posted Dec 20 2008 7:16pm
One good reason to perhaps think about losing weight if one is unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Another blogger, Dr. Ramona Bates provided a very nice explanation not too long ago explaining what lymphedema is and can be viewed here. BD
Throughout the world, 10 million breast cancer survivors have a lifetime risk for developing lymphedema, a chronic condition that involves swelling of the limbs and impacts physical and psychosocial health. Second only to the recurrence of cancer, it is the most dreaded effect of breast cancer treatment. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers found that the risk of developing lymphedema is 40 percent to 60 percent higher in women with body mass index (BMI) classified as overweight or obese compared to normal weight women. The researchers recommend increased health education for breast cancer survivors.
"Breast cancer survivors with high BMIs will benefit from education focused on maintaining optimal BMI and lymphedema risk reduction practices," said Jane Armer, professor in the Sinclair School of Nursing and director of nursing research at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. "Overweight women have the greatest risk of developing lymphedema and should be monitored closely for changes in symptoms and limb volume, especially those who have cancer treatment to the dominant side or experience post-operation swelling."