New Procedure Prevent Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Patients

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New Procedure Prevent Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Patients

Postby patoco » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:37 pm

Surgeon Develops Procedure to Prevent Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer
Patients

16 March 2007

Keywords

LYMPHEDEMA LYMPH NODES ARM SWELLING AXILLARY REVERSE MAPPING (ARM)
BREAST CANCER BIOPSY

Description

A surgeon at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)
has developed a new procedure to prevent one of the most common side
effects associated with breast cancer treatment – lymphedema or
swelling of the arms due to faulty drainage of the lymph nodes.

Newswise — A surgeon at the University of Arkansas for Medical
Sciences (UAMS) has developed a new procedure to prevent one of the
most common side effects associated with breast cancer treatment –
lymphedema or swelling of the arms due to faulty drainage of the
lymph nodes.

V. Suzanne Klimberg, M.D., director of the UAMS breast cancer
program, led a study funded by the Tenenbaum Breast Cancer Research
Foundation of breast cancer patients at risk for developing
lymphedema. Her findings were published in the February issue of the
Annals of Surgical Oncology, and she will present the study March 17
at the Society of Surgical Oncology 60th Annual Cancer Symposium in
Washington, D.C.

"The removal and analysis of the lymph nodes under the arm remains
the most important factor in determining the severity of disease in
breast cancer patients," Klimberg said. "In the past, surgery to
remove the lymph nodes and most of the fat and tissue in the armpit
often resulted in complications, including lymphedema." Five percent
to 50 percent of women undergoing surgical treatment for breast
cancer have developed lymphedema, mainly dependent upon the extent of
surgery.

At the ACRC, surgeons determined that the draining of the first lymph
node, known as the sentinel lymph node, is capable of predicting if
the cancer has spread to the remaining armpit lymph nodes, known as
axillary lymph nodes. This is a less invasive surgery and reduces the
likelihood of complications.

However, the lymph node system is at risk of disruption during either
a sentinel lymph node biopsy or an axillary lymph node dissection,
which often leads to swelling in the arm.

To prevent the arm swelling, Klimberg has developed the Axillary
Reverse Mapping (ARM) procedure. The new technique evaluates the ways
in which fluid drains through the lymph node system in the arm
through the injection of blue dye. The dye is used to map the
drainage of the arm.

"Mapping the drainage of the arm decreases the chances of unintended
disruption of the lymph node system during surgery and reduces the
risk of developing swelling in the arm," Klimberg said. "We are the
first to study lymph node drainage in the arm and are now using the
ARM procedure as standard procedure at UAMS."

Klimberg will soon begin conducting training seminars on the
procedure throughout the country. The seminars will be sponsored by
the global medical device company Ethicon, a branch of Johnson &
Johnson.

Klimberg is chief of the Division of Breast Surgical Oncology at UAMS
and a professor in the Departments of Surgery and Pathology. She also
is director of the Breast Cancer Program at the UAMS' Arkansas Cancer
Research Center as well as director of Breast Fellowship in Diseases
of the Breast at UAMS.

Additional UAMS staff members involved in the published study are
Kent Westbrook, M.D.; distinguished professor; Ronda Henry-Tillman,
M.D., associate professor of surgery; Margaret Thompson, fellow;
Soheila Korourian, M.D., associate professor of pathology; Keiva
Bland, fellow; K. Jackman, surgery resident; and Laura Adkins, data
manager.

UAMS is the state's only comprehensive academic health center, with
five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center, six centers of
excellence and a statewide network of regional centers. UAMS has
about 2,430 students and 715 medical residents. It is one of the
state's largest public employers with about 9,400 employees,
including nearly 1,000 physicians who provide medical care to
patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children's Hospital, the VA Medical Center
and UAMS' Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. UAMS
and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of $5 billion
a year. For more information, visit http://www.uams.edu.

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/528155/

********************

Pat O'Connor
Lymphedema People
http://www.lymphedemapeople.com
patoco
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