Degnim et al evaluated women with lymphedema of the breast associated with breast cancer. Edema of the breat may occur with or without concurrent lymphedema of the ipsilateral upper extremity. The authors are from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

Risk factors for breast lymphedema:

(1) lymph node dissection (axillary > sentinel)


Clinical features:

(1) edema, usually in 2 or more quadrants

(2) erythema

(3) feeling of breast heaviness and/or swelling


Differential diagnosis of edema and erythema: cellulitis


Breast lymphedema tends to improve with time and to be associated with no or low level distress, but most patients had mild disease.

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