A randomized controlled trial of weight reduction as a treatment for breast cancer-related lymphedema

Authors

  • Clare Shaw PhD, RD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom
    • Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation Trust, Fulham Road, London SW3 6JJ, United Kingdom
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    • Fax: (011) 44-2078082336

  • Peter Mortimer MD,

    1. Dermatological Medicine, Royal Marsden National Health Service Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom
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  • Patricia A. Judd PhD, RD

    1. Nutrition and Dietetics, Lancashire School of Health and Postgraduate Medicine, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom
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Abstract

BACKGROUND.

Obesity is considered a risk factor for the development of breast cancer-related lymphedema of the arm and as a poor prognostic factor in response to lymphedema treatment. The objective of this study was to examine weight reduction as a treatment for breast cancer-related lymphedema.

METHODS.

Twenty-one women with breast cancer-related lymphedema were randomized either to receive dietary advice for weight reduction or to receive a booklet on general healthy eating. They were monitored for 12 weeks.

RESULTS.

The primary outcome measure was arm volume at 12 weeks. The results indicated a significant reduction in swollen arm volume at the end of the 12-week period (P = .003) in the intervention weight-reduction group. There was a significant reduction in body weight (P = .02) and body mass index (P = .016) in the weight-reduction group at the end of the 12-week study period.

CONCLUSIONS.

Weight loss achieved by dietary advice to reduce energy intake can reduce breast cancer-related lymphedema significantly. Cancer 2007. © 2007 American Cancer Society.

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