Compression Treatment of Breast Edema: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study

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Background: Patients treated for breast cancer with breast conserving surgery and radiotherapy (RT) often complain about swelling, heaviness, and pain in the treated breast. This pilot study was undertaken to examine if compression therapy was effective as an early treatment to reduce breast edema and symptoms assessed by Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Methods and Results: Fifty-six breast cancer-treated women with breast edema, diagnosed by the measurement of tissue water content by tissue dielectric constant (TDC) technique 3 months post-RT, were randomized to either an intervention group, wearing a sports bra of compression type, or a control group, wearing a standard bra daily for 9 months when tissue water content in breast, upper arm, and lateral thorax of the operated side, and symptoms assessed by VAS were evaluated. No differences were found between the groups at start or end of study concerning tissue water content or VAS. However, within both groups, a significant reduction in tissue water content and experience of heaviness was found. Conclusion: Breast edema as well as experience of heaviness in the affected breast found at 3 months post-RT decreased after 9 months independent of whether a sports bra of compression type or a standard bra was used.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Sahlgrenska University Hospital
  • Skåne University Hospital

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Cancer och onkologi
  • Sjukgymnastik


Sidor (från-till)129-135
Antal sidor7
TidskriftLymphatic Research and Biology
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2020
Peer review utfördJa