Original Article

Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 141-147

First online:

Retrospective trial of complete decongestive physical therapy for lower extremity secondary lymphedema in melanoma patients

  • Eli CarmeliAffiliated withTel Aviv University Email author 
  • , Roberto BartolettiAffiliated withTel Aviv University

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Abstract

Background

Melanoma is a malignant tumour of melanocytes, which are found predominantly in skin, and at least 10–45% of patients develop secondary lymphedema (SL).

Purpose

This study seeks to investigate if individual’s lymphatic system can benefit from complete decongestive physical therapy (CDPT) 1 year after discharge from CDPT and consequently endorsing a better quality of life.

Methods

Male and female(n = 12) melanoma survivors 1–4 years post diagnosis with unilateral SL. Questionnaire and limb measurements were used to asses retrospective outcomes.

Results

A significant improvements (p < 0.05) has been in the categories of localisation, staging, disability and symptoms of SL.

Conclusions

CDPT provides relief in signs and symptoms for patients with SL following groyne dissection.

Keywords

Lymphedema Melanoma Physical therapy