Journal of Phlebology and Lymphology

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Manual lymph drainage in patients with tumoral activity

Author(s): Esther Mena Flor, Enriqueta Mena Flor, Alfredo Mena Flor

Evidence supports the use of complex decongestive physiotherapy in cases of cancer‐related lymphedema, despite the possibility of tumor recurrence due to this therapy 1. An increase of tumor recurrence resulting from lymphedema therapy is controversial. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the pattern of tumor dissemination associated with lymph drainage during the treatment of cancer. Forty‐seven female and two male patients with lymphedema of the upper and lower extremities treated in the National Oncological Institute Lucha Contra el Cancer (SOLCA) in the period from 01/01/2004 to 31/10/2007 participated in the study. The ages of the patients ranged between 30 and 82 years old. All were being treated by chemotherapy in isolation or associated with radiotherapy and were submitted to clinical examinations and routine laboratorial tests for tumor markers. Thirty of the patients had lymphedema of the upper extremities and 19 of the lower extremities. Of the 49 patients, 11 had single and 8 had multiple metastasis. Five patients were no longer being treated and were in the final phase of the disease. All the patients were being treated using manual lymph drainage, bandaging and exercising and were advised about the need of personal hygiene. Of the 30 patients without metastasis, only one had tumoral activity during the study. Of the 11 patients with single metastasis, 8 had tumoral activity, two died and one continued with tumoral activity until the end of the study period. Of the 8 patients with multiple metastases, 5 died and the other three continue under treatment.


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