Articles

HOME VOLUMETRY FORETELLS A NEW ERA OF SELF-MANAGEMENT FOR PATIENTS WITH LYMPHEDEMA AFTER BREAST CANCER

Authors
  • J Lette
  • F Lette
  • S Fraser

Abstract

We designed a device for quick and accurate measurement of arm volume at home. The device is non-commercial, and plans for construction and use are widely available. A single subject with arm lymphedema used the volumeter at home for more than one year and learned to better self-manage her condition. She discovered that symptoms commonly associated with worsening lymphedema (painful, heavy arm) are often unrelated to arm volume, transient,and therefore require no treatment. She was able to customize treatment including measuring the impact of various treatments and devices on arm volume. In the previous summer, the subject experienced worsening edema, which required 5 weeks of intensive treatment. During the summer of the study,the subject found that as temperatures increased the decrease in arm volume she normally experienced at night reversed,resulting in a slow and gradual increase in edema. She then tested several therapeutic interventions and devices and found that wearing a Class 1 sleeve at night during the summer months was the most effective intervention to maintain her arm volume. We predict that home volumetry will be useful for the management of lymphedema and particularly allows patients an increased ability to manage their symptoms.

Keywords: lymphedema, evidence-based self-management, home volumeter, breast cancer

How to Cite:

Lette, J. & Lette, F. & Fraser, S., (2007) “HOME VOLUMETRY FORETELLS A NEW ERA OF SELF-MANAGEMENT FOR PATIENTS WITH LYMPHEDEMA AFTER BREAST CANCER”, Lymphology 40(4), 185-187.

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Published on
20 Aug 2007
Peer Reviewed