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Lower extremity lymphedema in patients with gynecologic malignancies

Abstract

Lower extremity lymphedema is a chronic, often irreversible condition that affects many patients treated for gynecologic malignancies, with published rates as high as 70% in select populations. It has consistently been shown to affect multiple quality of life metrics. This review focuses on the pathophysiology, incidence, trends, and risk factors associated with lower extremity lymphedema secondary to the treatment of cervical, endometrial, ovarian, and vulvar cancers in the era of sentinel lymph node mapping. We review traditional and contemporary approaches to diagnosis and staging, and discuss new technologies and imaging modalities. Finally, we review the data-based treatment of lower extremity lymphedema and discuss experimental treatments currently being developed. This review highlights the need for more prospective studies and objective metrics, so that we may better evaluate and serve these patients.

  • surgical oncology
  • vulvar and vaginal cancer
  • uterine cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • brachytherapy
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