To analyse the outcomes of Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) applied for the first time in patients with Breast Cancer-Related Lymphoedema (BCRL) stages 0-I.
Material and methods
A descriptive and retrospective study performed on subjects with BCRL severity stages 0 and I recruited in the Lymphology Unit, and who had CDT for the first time between 2013 and 2016. A comparison was made of the percent excess volume (PEV) of lymphoedema at 3 intervals (initial, post-treatment, and medical check-up) and we calculated the percent excess volume reduction (PEVR) after treatment. Demographic data, clinical and lymphoedema characteristics were recorded.
The study included a total of 27 women, with mean age of 55 years (49-62). A lymphadenectomy had been performed on 88.90% (n = 24), and 85.20% (n = 23) had radiation therapy. There was a mean of 23 sessions. Before CDT, 7 participants had stage 0 BCRL and 20 had stage I. After treatment, 16 participants had lymphoedema stage 0 and 11 had stage I. The mean initial PEV was 11.76%, 8.77% after treatment and 7.57% in the medical check-up. PEV was reduced in 22 participants after treatment (81.50%). There was only one case where the reduction of volume remained stable in the medical check-up. The mean PEVR after treatment was 28.15% and 44.79% in the medical check-up.
This study shows favourable results of Complex Decongestive Therapy in Breast Cancer-Related Lymphoedema stages 0 and I.