BACKGROUND: Breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) imposes a significant economic burden on patients, providers, and society. There is no curative therapy for BCRL, but management through self-care can reduce symptoms and lower the risk of adverse events.MAIN BODY: The economic burden of BCRL stems from related adverse events, reductions in productivity and employment, and the burden placed on non-medical caregivers. Self-care regimens often include manual lymphatic drainage, compression garments, and meticulous skin care, and may incorporate pneumatic compression devices. These regimens can be effective in managing BCRL, but patients cite inconvenience and interference with daily activities as potential barriers to self-care adherence. As a result, adherence is generally poor and often worsens with time. Because self-care is on-going, poor adherence reduces the effectiveness of regimens and leads to costly treatment of BCRL complications.CONCLUSION: Novel self-care solutions that are more convenient and that interfere less with daily activities could increase self-care adherence and ultimately reduce complication-related costs of BCRL.
View details for DOI 10.1186/s12962-023-00455-7
View details for PubMedID 37516870