Title of study: Clinical Outcomes of Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy in Patients With Secondary Lymphedema: A Pilot Study
Authors: Hasuk Bae, MD, Ho Jeong Kim, MD
A pilot study investigated the effectiveness of extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) in reducing secondary lymphedema in seven breast cancer patients. Patients received four consecutive ESWT treatments over two weeks. The circumference and thickness of the affected arm significantly decreased after the fourth ESWT, as did the volume of the affected arm. Patients also reported subjective improvements in skin thickness, edema, and sensory impairment after the fourth treatment.
The study found that ESWT is an effective treatment for stage 3 lymphedema after breast cancer treatment, reducing the circumference and thickness of affected arms and improving patient satisfaction. Lymphedema is a common side effect of breast cancer treatment and can cause swelling, pain, and limited mobility. Current treatment options for lymphedema include compression therapy, exercise, and manual lymphatic drainage, but these treatments may not always be effective. ESWT offers a promising new treatment option for breast cancer patients with lymphedema.
Overall, this pilot study suggests that ESWT is a clinically favorable treatment option for breast cancer patients with lymphedema. The non-invasive treatment is well-tolerated and has minimal side effects.
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