Navigation Links
M. D. Anderson nurse addresses lymphedema in breast cancer patients and survivors
Date:5/17/2008

PHILADELPHIA - A poster session presented today by The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at the Oncology Nurses Society 33rd Annual Congress, found that early nursing intervention and implementation of effective strategies can lead to a decrease in the incidence of lymphedema, better management of chronic lymphedema and improved quality of life in breast cancer patients.

The literature review, led by Mattie J. Sennett McDowell, RN, BSN, a research nurse in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at M. D. Anderson, examined 20 years of data about the prevention, management and care of upper extremity lymphedema (ULE), or lymphedema that occurs in the arms, in breast cancer patients. The goal of the review was to identify a comprehensive list of current evidenced-based strategies that nurses and hospitals can use in caring for their patients.

"Women are living longer as breast cancer treatments get better, but at the same time, they face more devastating side effects like lymphedema," McDowell said. "So many women present with the symptoms, yet it is understudied and not well understood. More can to be done to proactively recognize and address lymphedema in breast cancer patients."

ULE is an often a distressing and debilitating side effect of breast cancer treatment in which protein-rich fluid in the tissue of the arms accumulates and obstructs the lymph vessels. According to the National Lymphedema Network, approximately 15 to 20 percent of all breast cancer patients are affected by ULE. Its development can be triggered by breast cancer diagnostic procedures, radiation, surgery or environmental factors. It also can can occur immediately after treatment or many years down the road. ULE, which can make simple tasks such as picking up children, getting dressed or exercising painful, has a detrimental impact on the patient's quality of life.

According to the literature, effective strategies to address lymphedema included early identification of at-risk patients through enhanced assessment techniques, monitoring, standardizing at-risk assessment tools and increased awareness of lymphedema through educational efforts of the health care team. The studies noted that increased awareness through educational forums, patient-nurse learning modules, and increasing the number of research studies focusing on ULE are vital in addressing this problem.

McDowell, who is dedicated to the study, prevention and management of ULE after a breast cancer patient died from significant disease progression, complicated by advanced, unmanageable lymphedema, said, "This research is centered on what is important to the patient and their quality of life after treatment. Nurses are on the frontline and may hold the key in proactively preventing lymphedema in many patients by educating them about triggers and symptoms, continual and specific lymphedema assessments during each visit and pursuing research in this area."

At M. D. Anderson, nurses and patient care teams have implemented several strategies to educate breast cancer patients about lymphedema and treat it aggressively. One such strategy is having a nurse and physician present information via discussion and prepared handouts before women undergo surgery. Additionally, all women are assessed for lymphedema during treatment and at follow-up visits. M. D. Anderson's multidisciplinary care team also offers comprehensive support and collaboration from prevention of the sequelae to advanced physical therapy for those with lymphedema.

McDowell plans to develop further research studies examining the evidenced-based practices for ULE identified in this study, with the end-goal of developing a standard set of recommendations. More information on the causes and symptoms of lymphedema, risk reduction strategies and recommended treatment are provided online at M. D. Anderson's Rehabilitation Services Lymphedema homepage or by logging onto the National Lymphedema Network Web site.


'/>"/>

Contact: Julie A. Penne
jpenne@mdanderson.org
281-460-1788
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. M.D. Anderson-led team reports possible key to autoimmune disease
2. UCI Medical Affiliates Inc. Opens a New Doctors Care Center in Anderson
3. M. D. Anderson-Prevention poll finds women can do more to prevent cancer...but arent
4. M. D. Anderson-Prevention poll finds women can do more to prevent cancer ... but arent
5. M. D. Anderson researchers identify tumor-suppressor gene for lung cancer
6. SEIU Endorses Anderson, Perea, and Perea in Fresno
7. M. D. Anderson research links diet, gardening and lung cancer risk
8. CyberKnife Centers of Miami, Palm Beach and Tampa Invited to Join M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Study
9. Naviscan PET Systems to Place High-Resolution PET Scanner at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
10. M. D. Anderson nurses find empowerment in PACTs
11. GAO Report Confirms: Medicare Underpays for Anesthesia Services; Nurse Anesthetists Assure Seniors Access to Safe Anesthesia Care
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... , ... DDi , a Makro company, makes it ... expertise in eClinical Solutions. DDi has built its solution competency with a unique ... clients. DDi provides smarter technology for Clinical Development, Regulatory and Enterprise domains by ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... , ... Mystic Buddha Publishing House presents Valentine’s Day tips on different forms ... - Dr. Frederick Lenz. , According to Publisher Roger Cantu, “Blue Skies ... teaching and helping others. Valentine’s Day celebrates love in all its forms, and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... new initiative—the Siemens Foundation-PATH Ingenuity Fellowships—to develop the advanced skills needed to ... students from U.S. universities who will draw from Siemens’ deep knowledge of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... CDRH Enforcement Trends: , Back to the ... , As Winston Churchill said, “Those who don’t learn from history are ... what to expect when they come knocking this year. But that takes time. , ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Middletown, PA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... year’s event will be held in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. Almost ... they can see new therapy products in action, learn more about their chosen field ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016 The primary goal of ... adoption patterns on the usage of liquid biopsy. Key ... - Timeframe of liquid biopsy adoption amidst ... and Evs—by organization type - Sample inflow to conduct ... saliva, stool, serum, and so on. - Correlation analysis ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 11, 2016  Walgreens has ... across 39 states and Washington, D.C. ... a move that was commended by shareholder advocacy organization As ... at As You Sow. "Many people hold on to unneeded ... which can have tragic consequences." --> Conrad ...
(Date:2/11/2016)...  MiMedx Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG ), the ... other birth tissues, human skin and bone, and patent-protected ... products and therapies, announced today that it will present ... in New York , NY.  Parker ... Senken , Chief Financial Officer and Chris Cashman ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: