Problem Identification: Secondary lymphedema is a chronic condition that may result from cancer-related treatments. Evidence is emerging on prospective surveillance and risk reduction.
Literature Search: Databases were systematically searched through April 1, 2019, for comparative studies evaluating interventions aiming to prevent lymphedema in patients with cancer.
Data Evaluation: A random-effects model was used to perform meta-analysis, when appropriate.
Synthesis: A total of 26 studies (4,095 patients) were included, with 23 providing data sufficient for meta-analysis. Surveillance programs increased the likelihood of detecting lymphedema. Physiotherapy, exercise programs, and delayed exercise reduced the incidence of lymphedema.
Implications for Research: Future research should standardize (a) evidence-based interventions to reduce the development of lymphedema and increase the likelihood of early detection and (b) outcome measures to build a body of evidence that leads to practice change.
Supplemental material can be found at https://onf.ons.org/supplementary-material-systematic-review-cancer-treatment-related-lymphedema