How common is lymphedema from radiation?

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Question from JJ: What percent of patients who receive radiation treatment to the underarm node region develop lymphedema?
Answers - Nicole Stout I don't know if we can give an exact percent, but we would assume that if the patient is getting radiation to their underarm that they have positive lymph nodes and have probably had more removed, so their risk according to current research could be as high as 48%. I emphasize the “could be” – it could be as high as 48%.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Preventing and Treating Arm Lymphedema featured Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.M.,Nicole Stout, M.P.T. C.L.T.-L.A.N.A., and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.S.C. answering your questions about ways to prevent and manage lymphedema.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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