Introduction/Background Secondary lymphedema remains a debilitating problem for cancer survivors. Yet, the incidence of this problem in Poland is unknown. We are lacking strategies to help raise awareness about secondary lymphedema. Furthermore, we need to develop plans for early detection and proper surveillance including all modalities of treatment.
As there is no national database for lymphedema after gynecological cancer in Poland, we aimed to investigate its incidence based on data from one gynecological oncology site.
Methodology We conducted a retrospective study on all women operated at the Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Oncological Gynecology, Bytom, Poland due to vulvar or cervical cancer between 2017 and 2022. A standard phone calls including questions about presence of lymphedema and subsequent treatment (no, physiotherapy, surgery) were made to each patient. The phone calls were made twice with 3-days gap in case of no response. All data were collected by a trained gyn intern.
Results We collected data from 90 women with vulvar cancer and 57 with cervical cancer. 30 out of 90 patients (33%) and 18 out of 57 patients (31.5%) had secondary lymphedema. Half of women with vulvar cancer and 2/3 of women with cervical cancer had lymphedema treatment. Types of lymphedema treatment included: compression therapy, manual lymphatic drainage.
Conclusion Our results indicate that 1/3 of women with vulvar and cervical cancer suffer from secondary lymphedema. In case of women with vulvar cancer only half of them seek or were offered treatment. The same situation is seen for 1/3 of women after cervical cancer surgery. We need strategies to better inform patients of possible sequele of surgeries, so the patients search for help immediately after noticing the problem.
Disclosures No disclosure
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