Lymphedema, an excess of fluid and protein caused by impaired lymph flow from the tissue, is a common and debilitating complication of cancer surgery and radiation treatment.1 Depending on which area and lymph nodes are affected, the areas of edema or swelling can be the arms, legs, head and neck, trunk, abdomen, or groin. Lymphedema is not a life-threatening condition but is one that has no cure.
For women with human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2)-positive early breast cancer, delaying trastuzumab until chemotherapy is completed may impair outcomes, according to findings from the landmark N9831 trial. The findings were presented by Edith Perez, MD, director of the Breast Cancer Program at the Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Florida.
The discipline of breast surgery, like many specialties, has moved toward a minimally invasive approach to local therapy. Radical surgery had previously been the standard; however, surgical approaches continue to evolve as we gather more data about the oncologic safety of less invasive procedures. In addition, we are placing more emphasis on targeted therapy, and surgery is an integrated portion of patient care.
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