Objective: To quantitatively assess and compare the quality of life (QoL) of women with a self-reported diagnosis of lower limb lymphedema (LLL), to women with lower limb swelling (LLS), and to women without LLL or LLS following treatment for endometrial cancer. Methods: 1399 participants in the Australian National Endometrial Cancer Study were sent a follow-up questionnaire 3-5 years after diagnosis. Women were asked if they had experienced swelling in the lower limbs and, if so, whether they had received a diagnosis of lymphedema by a health professional. The 639 women who responded were categorized as: Women with LLL (n = 68), women with LLS (n = 177) and women without LLL or LLS (n = 394). Multivariable-adjusted generalized linear models were used to compare women's physical and mental QoL by LLL status. Results: On average, women were 65 years of age and 4 years after diagnosis. Women with LLL had clinically lower physical QoL (M = 41.8, SE = 1.4) than women without LLL or LLS (M = 45.1, SE = 0.8, p = .07), however, their mental QoL was within the normative range (M = 49.6; SE = 1.1 p = 1.0). Women with LLS had significantly lower physical (M = 41.0, SE = 1.0, p = .003) and mental QoL (M = 46.8; SE = 0.8, p < .0001) than women without LLL or LLS (Mental QoL: M = 50.6, SE = 0.8). Conclusion: Although LLL was associated with reductions in physical QoL, LLS was related to reductions in both physical and mental QoL 3–5 years after cancer treatment. Early referral to evidence-based lymphedema programs may prevent long-term impairments to women's QoL.
Rowlands, I. J., Beesley, V. L., Janda, M., Hayes, S. C., Obermair, A., Quinn, M. A., Brand, A. H., Leung, Y., Mcquire, L., & Webb, P. M. (2014). Quality of life of women with lower limb swelling or lymphedema 3-5 years following endometrial cancer. Gynecologic Oncology, 133(2), 314-318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2014.03.003