Petrek JA, Pressman PI, Smith RA.
Lymphedema: current issues in research and management.
CA cancer J Clin 2000 Sep-Oct;50(5):292-307;quiz 308-11
Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, NY, USA.

Lymphedema is a common and troublesome problem that can develop following breast
cancer treatment. As with other quality-of-life and nonlethal conditions, it
receives less research funding and attention than do many other areas of study.
In 1998, an invited workshop sponsored by the American Cancer Society reviewed
and evaluated the current state of knowledge about lymphedema. Recommendations
and research initiatives proposed by the 60 international participants are
presented in the conclusion section of the article, following a summary of
current knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, detection, and current treatment of
lymphedema. The etiology of lymphedema is multifaceted; all of the factors that
contribute to the condition and the nature of their interaction have not yet been
identified. To compound the problem, methods of assessing the degree of arm and
hand swelling vary and are not agreed upon, and reliable methods of assessing the
functional impact of lymphedema have not yet been developed. In the absence of a
cure for lymphedema, precautions and prevention are emphasized. Current
treatments include elevation, elastic garments, pneumatic compression pumps, and
complete decongestive therapy; surgical and medical techniques remain
controversial. Elements and details of these treatments are described.