Assessment and management of lymphoedema

Start Year: 2007
Finish Year: 2010
Chief Investigator: Ms Sharon Czerniec
Grant Type: Fellowships
Institution: University of Sydney

Doctoral Research Scholarship

Alternative Title: Lymphoedema (arm swelling) following breast cancer treatment

A common consequence of the treatment for breast cancer is the development of arm swelling (lymphoedema). Lymphoedema can impact on a woman’s life in many ways. The affected arm can feel heavy, painful and have reduced function. This condition can also cause anxiety and depression.

Women who develop lymphoedema may avoid using their arm for fear of making their condition worse. This can result in a further loss of strength, movement and quality of life. Despite the impact of lymphoedema, it remains a condition where much is still unknown.

Ms Czerniec investigates many aspects of lymphoedema assessment and management, aiming to answer questions regarding: the best ways to assess this condition in order to detect change; how lymphoedema varies over time; and the effect of exercise on this condition. The results have potential to guide clinical practice, exercises and advice given to women with breast cancer.