Disabilità e linfedema

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F. BOCCARDO, C. CAMPISI

Ann. Ital. Chir., LXXIII, 5, 2002

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Axillary lymph-nodal dissection (ALD) for the surgical treatment of breast cancer plays an important role in consideration above all of the incidence of early and late complications (upper limb edema, pain at thoracic wall, impaired function of the limb), that sometimes can hide the real benefit for the patient. Arm lymphedema due to breast cancer treatment particularly represents a significantly disabling complication, from both physical and psychological points of view. It is useful, therefore, to inform patients about the necessity of a preventive treatment aimed at improving prognosis in relation to a possible future disability. Authors report some clinical experiences of work groups who studied psycho-physical damage due to lymphedema after breast cancer treatment. Finally, therapeutic and preventive procedures are pointed out with the aim of reducing the psycho-physical burden of disability correlated to lymphedema.

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