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Impact of Melanoma-Related Lymphoedema on Quality of Life
A recent study explored the health-related quality of life in recurrence-free melanoma patients, with a focus on the association between melanoma-related limb lymphoedema and quality of life.
The study – which was recently published in European Journal of Cancer – enlisted 431 melanoma patients who had undergone wide local excision and axillary or inguinal sentinel lymph node biopsy and/or complete lymph node dissection. No patients had had recurrence of the disease or received any adjuvant radiotherapy.
The study found that health-related quality of life improved with time after surgery. Melanoma-related limb lymphoedema was present in 109 patients (25 percent). Patients with lymphoedema were found to have significantly worse quality of life in relation to health status, social functioning, fatigue, pain, financial difficulties and perceived body image.
Health-related quality of life was not improved or worsened between the limb affected, clinical stage of lymphoedema, duration of lymphoedema, or type of surgery. However, the health-related quality of life of young patients and women was the most impacted.
The study concluded that the negative impact of melanoma-related lymphoedema on health-related quality of life emphasises the importance of developing strategies for increasing awareness and improving prevention and treatment of lymphoedema.
Gjorup, C.A. et al. (15 September, 2017.) Health-related quality of life in melanoma patients: Impact of melanoma-related limb lymphoedema. European Journal of Cancer. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2017.07.052