Physical Therapy Speeds Recovery of Arm Motion After Lymph Nodes Removed, Phase 3 Trial Shows

Physical Therapy Speeds Recovery of Arm Motion After Lymph Nodes Removed, Phase 3 Trial Shows
Women with breast cancer who undergo lymph node surgery more quickly recover full arm motion if they exercise with the help of a physical therapist, a Phase 3 trial shows. The findings were revealed during the 2018 Cancer Survivorship Symposium in Orlando, Florida, in a presentation titled "Effects of a lymphedema prevention intervention on range of motion among women receiving lymph node dissection for breast cancer treatment (Alliance) CALGB 70305." A large number of women with breast cancer undergo lymph node dissection surgery, which can either be sentinel — removal of lymph nodes close to the tumor — or axillary —   those around the breast and underarm. When lymph nodes are removed or damaged, such as in breast cancer surgery, lymphatic fluid can build in surrounding tissues and cause swelling, called lymphedema, which may last for several months or longer, and cause an incapacitating decrease in motion. The trial aimed to address how well education, with or without physical therapy, works in preventing lymphedema in women with stage 1, 2, or 3 breast cancer who had axillary lymph nodes removed. For the trial (NCT00376597), 568 women were
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