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Breast density helps predict cancer-related lymphedema risk

JAMA Network Open
Reuters Health - 18/11/2020 - In patients with breast cancer who undergo axillary lymph node dissection, mammographic breast density is among factors associated with the risk of lymphedema, according to new research. "Currently, about a third of patients are diagnosed in the late stages of lymphedema with few effective treatment options available," Dr. Fei-Fei Liu of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, in Toronto, Canada, told Reuters Health by email. "We developed a mathematical model to predict lymphedema morbidity. Patients with low breast density were at a higher risk of developing severe lymphedema." In a paper in JAMA Network Open, Dr. Liu and colleagues note that lymphedema is a surgical complication in about 20% of breast-cancer patients who undergo an axillary lymph node dissection. This risk nearly doubles in surgical treatment combined with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Moreover, the condition becomes increasingly challenging to treat over time becaus...

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