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A review of the epidemiology of BCRL

Peter Franks
11 February 2014

<p>Problems exist in all studies in relation to the epidemiology of breast cancer-related lymphoedema (BCRL). However, the evidence suggests that lymphoedema occurs in approximately one-quarter to one-third of patients who have undergone surgery for breast cancer. Factors which appear to predispose patients include: use of irradiation; extent of axillary node dissection; combined axillary surgery and irradiation; obesity; surgical wound infection; tumour stage and extent of surgery. There is some evidence that improved surgical technique may result in a reduced risk of BCRL, but this may be confounded by methodological differences.</p>

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