Registration for the 2017 International NLN Conference is now Open!

Click here for more info and to register for the conference click here.

We look forward to seeing you there!!


National Lymphedema Network is now hiring!

The NLN is looking for the right candidate to fill the role of Executive Director.  

Click here for more information and to apply now!

Research - Current and Classic

Welcome to Classics and Currents, a new offering to you from the NLN Research Committee. As members of the research committee we recognize that dissemination of research information to the lymphedema community is one of our responsibilities. Although we cannot post articles online due to copyright issues, we can give you a list of articles that may be of interest that you can seek through other sources such as hospital libraries or via online access at PUBMED. We will feature every quarter, chosen by members of the research committee:

Classics: Groundbreaking research from the recent or distant past that remains important to both patients and healthcare professionals.

Currents: Recently published research that may be of great interest to to both patients and healthcare professionals.

If you want to look these up, go to Simply pull up PUBMED and enter the first author's last name and initials "Smith JJ" and hit search. This will take you to the first author and you can scroll down until you find the article. You will see messages as that tell you if the article is available for free-some are. You will also see the publisher. If you work at an academic medical center or in a large healthcare system you may have access to article through your employer. If you work with someone who has admitting privileges to a hospital, they may be able to get these articles for you.

We hope you find this information helpful.

NLN Currents and Classics 

I. Information and knowledge about lymphedema

Currents 2012- 2014

  • Kwan ML, Shen L, Munneke JR, Tam EK, et al. Patient awareness and knowledge of breast cancer-related lymphedema in a large, integrated health care delivery system. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2012;135(2):591-602. 
  • Armer JM, Cormier JN, Deng J, et al. Symptom burden and infection occurrence among individuals with extremity lymphedemaLymphology. 2012;45(3):113-23.
  • Ackerson LM,  Andre M, Kutner S, et al. Clinician awareness and knowledge of breast cancer-related lymphedema in a large, integrated health care delivery settingBreast Cancer Res and Treat. 2012;131(3):1029-38.
  • Deng J, Fu M, Armer J, et al.  Self-reported information sources and perceived knowledge in individuals with lymphedema.  Lymphology. 2013;46:173-183.


  • Bosompra K, Ashikaga T, O'Brien PJ, et al. Knowledge about preventing and managing lymphedema: a survey of recently diagnosed and treated breast cancer patients. Patient Education and Counseling. 2002;47:155-163.
  • Ridner SH. Pretreatment lymphedema education and identified educational resources in breast cancer patients.Patient Education and Counseling. 2006;61:72-79.
  • Fu MR, Chen C, Haber J, et al.  The effect of providing information about lymphedema on the cognitive and symptom outcomes of breast cancer survivors.  Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2010;17(7):1847-1853.
  • Sherman KA, Koelmeyer L. The role of information sources and objective risk status on lymphedema risk-minimization behaviors in women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum.  2011;38:E27-E36.
  • Fu MR. Clinician's Training and Interest in LE ResearchJournal of Lymphoedema. 2011;6(1):24-9.

II. Conservative therapies/Effectiveness of treatment

Currents 2012-2014

  • Dayes, et al. Randomized Trial of Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy for the Treatment of Lymphedema in Women With Breast Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2013;31(30):3758-3763
  • Johansson et al. Water-based exercise for patients with chronic arm lymphedema: a randomized controlled pilot trial. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;92:312-319.
  • Lasinski BB. Complete Decongestive Therapy for treatment of lymphedemaSemin. Oncol. Nurs.  2013;29(1):20-27.
  • Letellier ME, Towers A, Shimony A, Tidhar D. Breast cancer-related lymphedema: a randomized controlled pilot and feasibility study.  Amer J Phys Med and Rehab.  2014;93(9):751-759. 
  • Cheville AL, Andrews K, Kollasch J, et al.  Adapting lymphedema treatment to the palliative care setting.  Amer J Hospital Palliative Care.  2014;31(1):38-44.


  • Damstra R, Partsch H. Compression therapy in breast cancer-related lymphedema: A randomized, controlled comparative study of relation between volume and interface pressure changes. J Vasc Surg. 2009;49:1256-63.
  • Gergich N, et al. Preoperative assessment enables the early diagnosis and successful treatment of lymphedema. Cancer. 2008;112:2809-2819. 
  • Johansson, et al. Low intensity resistance exercise for breast cancer patients with arm lymphedema with or without compression sleeve. Lymphology. 2005;38:167-180.
  • Vignes S, Porcher R, Arrault M, Dupuy A. Factors influencing breast cancer-related lymphedema volume after intensive decongestive physiotherapySupport Care Cancer. 2010;19(7):935-40.
  • Ko DS, Lerner R, Klose G, Cosimi AB. Effective Treatment of Lymphedema of the Extremities. Archives of Surgery. 1998;133(4):452-8.
  • Torres Lacomba M, Yuste Sánchez MJ, Zapico Goñi A, Prieto Merino D, Mayoral del Moral O, Cerezo Téllez E, Minayo Mogollón E. Effectiveness of early physiotherapy to prevent lymphoedema after surgery for breast cancer: randomised, single blinded, clinical trial. BMJ. 2010;340:b5396.
  • Katz E, Dugan NL, Cohn JC, et al.  Weight lifting in patients with lower-extremity lymphedema secondary to cancer: a pilot and feasibility study. Archives Phys Med and Rehab.  2010;91(7):1070-1076. 
  • Lee B, et al.  Diagnosis and treatment of primary lymphedema.  Consensus document of the International Union of Phebology.International Angiology.  2010;29(5):454-470.

III. Alternative therapies

  • Lasinski BB, Thrift KM, Squire D, et al. A systematic review of the evidence for complete decongestive therapy in the treatment of lymphedema from 2004 to 2011Physical Med and Rehab. 2012;4(8):580-601.
  • Smoot B, Chiavola-larson L, Lee J, Manibusan H, Allen DD. Effect of low-level laser therapy on pain and swelling in women with breast cancer-related lymphedema: a systematic review and meta-analysisJ Cancer Surviv. 2014.

Currents 2012-2014

  • Ridner SH, Murphy B, Deng J. A randomized clinical trial comparing advanced pneumatic truncal, chest, and arm treatment to arm treatment only in self-care of arm lymphedema. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012;131(1):147-58.
  • Feldman JL, Stout NL, Wanchai A, Stewart BR, Cormier JN, Armer JM. Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Therapy: A systematic reviewLymphology.  2012;45(1):13-25.
  • Ridner SH, Poage-Hooper E, Kanar C, Doersam JK, Bond SM, Dietrich MS. A pilot randomized trial evaluating low-level laser therapy as an alternative treatment to manual lymphatic drainage for breast cancer-related lymphedemaOncol Nurs Forum. 2013;40(4):383-93.
  • Chang CJ, Cormier JN. Lymphedema interventions: Exercise, surgery, and compression devices.  Semin. Oncol. Nurs 2013;29(1):28-40.
  • Wanchai A, Armer, JM, Stewart BR. Complementary and alternative medicine and lymphedema.  Semin. Oncol. Nurs. 2013;29(1):41-49.
  • Loudon A, Barnett T, Piller N, et al. Yoga management of breast cancer-related lymphoedema: a randomized controlled pilot-trial.  BMC Complement Altern Med.  2014 Jul 1;14:214.  doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-214.


  • Bosman J, Piller N. Lymph Taping and Seroma Formation Post Breast Cancer. Journal of Lymphoedema. 2010; 5(2):46-51.

IV. Assessment/measurement

Currents 2012-2014

  • Armer JM, Stewart BR, Wanchai A, Lasinski BB, et al. Rehabilitation concepts among aging survivors living with and at risk for lymphedema: A framework for assessment, enhancing strengths, and minimizing vulnerability. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation, 2012;28(4):1-9.
  • Ostby PL, Armer JM, Dale PS, Van Loo MJ, et al.  Surveillance recommendations in reducing risk of and optimally managing breast cancer-related lymphedema. J Personalized Med.  2014;4:424-447.
  • Mori T, Lustman A, Katz-Leurer M.   Self-measurement of upper extremity volume in women post-breast cancer: reliability and validity study. Physiother Theory Pract, Early Online 1-5. 2014 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc. DOI: 10.3109/09593985.2014.994249.


  • Armer JM, Stewart BR. A comparison of four diagnostic criteria for lymphedema in a post-breast cancer population. Lymphatic Research and Biology.  2005;3(4):208-17.
  • Armer JM.  The problem of post-breast cancer lymphedema: Impact and measurement issues.Cancer Investigation. 2005; 23:76-83.
  • Ridner SH., Montgomery, LD., Armer JM., et al. Comparison of upper limb volume measurement techniques between healthy volunteers and individuals with known lymphedema.Lymphology.  2007;40:35-46.  Also in: Phlebology Digest, 21, 23-25. (Invited abstract) PMID: 17539463.
  • Armer JM, Radina ME, Porock D, Culbertson SD. Predicting Breast-Cancer Related Lymphedema Using Self-Reported Symptoms. Nurs Res.2003;52(6):370-9.
  • Armer JM. The Problem of Post Breast-Cancer Lymphedema: Impact and Measurement Issues. Cancer Invest. 2005;23(1):76-83.
  • Bernas M., Askew R., Armer J., Cormier, J. Lymphedema: How do we diagnose and reduce the risk of this dreaded complication of breast cancer treatment? Current Breast Cancer Reports. 2010;2:53-58. DOI: 10.1007/s12609-010-0009-1.
  • Montgomery L., Ridner S., Armer, J., Stewart, B. Segmental blood flow and hemodynamic state of lymphedematous and non-lymphedematous arms. Lymphatic Research and Biology. 2011;9(1):31-42. PMD: 21417766.
  • Ward LC, Dylke E, Czerniec S, Isenring E, Kilbreath SL.  Reference ranges for assessment of unilateral lymphedema in legs by bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy. Lymphat Res Biol. 2011;9(1):43-6.

V. Surgical treatment

Currents 2012-2014

  • Boccardo F, Dessalvi C, Campisis C, et al. Microsurgery for groin lymphocele and lymphedema after oncologic surgery. Microsurgery. 2014;34(1):10-13. E-Pub 11 JUL 2013.
  • Cormier JN, Rourke L, Crosby M, Chang D, Armer J. The surgical treatment of lymphedema: A systematic review of the contemporary literature (2004-2010).  Ann Surg Oncol. 2012;19(2): 642-651.
  • Felmerer G, Sattler T, Lohrmann C, Tobbia D. Treatment of various secondary lymphedemas by microsurgical lymph vessel transplantation. Microsurgery. 2012;32(3): 171-177.
  • Boccardo F, Casabona, F, DeCian F, et al. Lymphatic microsurgical preventing healing approach (LYMPHA) for primary surgical prevention of breast cancer-related lymphedema: over 4 years of follow-up. Microsurgery. 2014: 34(6): 421-424
  • Brake MK, Jain L, Hart R et al. Liposuction for Submental Lymphedema Lymphedema Improves Appearance and Self-Perception in the Head and Neck Cancer Patient Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 2014: 151(2): 221-225
  • Pons G, Masia J, Loschi P, et al. A case of donor-site lymphoedema after lymph node- superficial circumflex iliac artery perforator flap transfer. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. 2014: 67, 119-123


  • Becker C, et al.  Postmastectomy lymphedema: long-term results following microsurgical lymph node transplantation. Annals of Surgery. 2006;243(3):313-5
  • Campisi C, et al. Microsurgery for lymphedema: clinical research and long-term results. Microsurgery 2010;30(4):256-60
  • Damstra, RJ, et al. Circumferential suction-assisted lipectomy for lymphoedema after surgery for breast cancer. British Journal of Surgery 2009;96(8):859-64
  • Chang DW. Lymphaticovenular bypass for lymphedema management in breast cancer patients: a prospective study. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010;126(3):752-8. 
    Baumeister RG, Siuda S. Treatment of lymphedemas by microsurgical lymphatic grafting: what is proved?Plast Reconstr Surg. 1990;85(1):64-74.
  • Brorson H. Liposuction gives complete reduction of chronic large arm lymphedema after breast cancerActa Oncol. 2000;39(3):407-20.
  • Brorson H, Svensson H. Liposuction combined with controlled compression therapy reduces arm lymphedema more effectively than controlled compression therapy alonePlast Reconstr Surg. 1998;102(4):1058-67.
  • Campisi C, Bellini C, Campisi C, Accogli S, Bonioli E, Boccardo F. Microsurgery for lymphedema: clinical research and long-term results.Microsurgery. 2010;30(4):256-60.
  • Campisi C, Davini D, Bellini C, et al. Lymphatic microsurgery for the treatment of lymphedemaMicrosurgery. 2006;26(1):65-9.
  • Thompson N. The surgical treatment of chronic lymphoedema of the extremitiesSurg Clin North Am. 1967;47(2):445-503.
    • Boccardo FM, Casabona F, Friedman D, et al. Surgical prevention of arm lymphedema after breast cancer treatment. Ann Surg Oncol. 2011;18(9):2500-2505. 
    • Mihara M, Hayashi Y, Murai N, Moriguchi H, et al. Regional diagnosis of lymphoedema and selection of sites for lymphaticovenular anastomosis using elastographyClinical Radiology. 2011;66(8):715-719.
    • Springer S, Koller M, Baumeister RG, Frick A. Changes in quality of life of patients with lymphedema after lymphatic vessel transplantation.Lymphology. 2011;44(2):65-71.

VI. Self care

Currents 2012-2014


  • Radina E, Armer J, Daunt D et al. Self-reported management of breast cancer-related lymphoedema. J Lymphoedema. 2007;2(2):12-21.
  • Armer JM, Brooks CW, Stewart BR.  Limitations of self-care in reducing the risk of lymphedema: Supportive-educative systems. Nurs. Sci Quarterly. 2011;24(1)57-63.
  • Williams AF. A qualitative study of supported self-care in women with lymphoedema associated with breast cancer.   PhD thesis.  Edinburgh Napier University. 2011.

VII. Exercise

Currents  2012-2014

  • Cormie P, Pumpa K, Galvao DA, et al. Is it safe and efficacious for women with lymphedema secondary to breast cancer to lift heavy weights during exercise? A randomised controlled trial. J Cancer Surviv. 2013;7(3):413-424.
  • Johansson K, Hayes S, Speck RM, Schmitz KH. Water-based exercise for patients with chronic arm lymphedema: a randomized controlled pilot trial. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;92:312-319.
  • Kilbreath SL, Refshauge KM, Beith JM, et al. Upper limb progressive resistance training and stretching exercises following surgery for early breast cancer: a randomized controlled trial.Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2012;133:667-676.
  • Rajotte EJ, Yi JC, Baker KS, Gregerson L, et al. Community-based exercise program effectiveness and safety for cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 2012;6:219-228.
  • Delinger CS, Ligibel JA, Baker KS et al. Survivorship: healthy lifestyles version 2.2014. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2014: 12(9):1222-1237
  • Letellier ME, Towers A, Shimony A et al. Breast cancer related lymphedema: a randomized controlled pilot and feasibility study. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2014:93(9): 751-9
  • Brown JC, John GM, Segal S et al. Physical Activity and lower limb lymphedema among uterine cancer survivors. Med Sci Sports Exer. 2013:45(11): 2091-2097


  • Courneya KS, Segal RJ, Mackey JR, et al. Effects of aerobic and resistance exercise in breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy: a multicenter randomized controlled trial. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25:4396-4404.
  • Johansson K, Tibe K, Weibull A, Newton RC. Low intensity resistance exercise for breast cancer patients with arm lymphedema with or without compression sleeve. Lymphology. 2005;38:167-180.
  • McKenzie DC, Kalda AL. Effect of upper extremity exercise on secondary lymphedema in breast cancer patients: a pilot study. J Clin Oncol.  2003;21:463-466.
  • Schmitz KH, Ahmed RL, Troxel AB, et al. Weight lifting for women at risk for breast cancer-related lymphedema: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2010;304:2699-2705.
  • Tidhar D, Katz-Leurer M. Aqua lymphatic therapy in women who suffer from breast cancer treatment-related lymphedema: a randomized controlled study. Support Care Cancer. 2010;18: 383-392.
  • Carmichael AR, Daley AJ, Rea DW, Bowden SJ. Physical activity and breast cancer outcome: a brief review of evidence, current practice and future directionEur J Surg Oncol. 2010;36(12):1139-48.
  • Schmitz KH, Ahmed RL, Troxel AB, et al. Weight lifting for women at risk for breast cancer-related lymphedema: a randomized trialJAMA. 2010;304(24):2699-705.
  • Cavanaugh KM. Effects of early exercise on the development of lymphedema in patients with breast cancer treated with axillary lymph node dissection. J Oncol Pract. 2011;7:89-93.
  • Gautam AP, Maiya AG, Vidyasagar MS. Effect of home-based exercise program on lymphedema and quality of life in female postmastectomy patients: pre-post intervention study. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2011;48:1261-1268.
  • Bradt J, Goodill SW, Dileo C. Dance/movement therapy for improving psychological and physical outcomes in cancer patients. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(10):CD007103.
  • Kwan ML, Cohn JC, Armer JM, Stewart BR, Cormier JN. Exercise in patients with lymphedema: a systematic review of the contemporary literature.J Cancer Surviv. 2011;5(4):320-36.

VIII. Risk factors/Prevention

Currents 2012-2014

  • Sakurai T, Endo M, Shimizu K, et al.  Axillary reverse mapping using flourescence imaging is useful for identifying the risk group of postoperative lymphedema in breast cancer patients undergoing sentinel node biopsy.  J Surg Oncol.  2014;109(6):612-615.
  • Stout NL, Pfalzer LA, Springer B, Levy E, et al. Breast cancer-related lymphedema: Comparing direct costs of a prospective surveillance model and a traditional model of care. Phys Ther. 2012;92(1):152-163.
  • Ugur S, Arici C, Yaprak M, Mesci A et al.  Risk factors of breast cancer-related lymphedema. Lymphatic Res Biol.  2013;11(2):72-75.
  • Bernas M. Assessment and risk reduction in lymphedemaSemin Oncol Nurs. 2013;29(1):12-9.


  • Tsai RJ, Dennis LK, Lynch CF, Snetselaar LG, et al. The risk of developing arm lymphedema among breast cancer survivors: A meta analysis of treatment factors. Ann Surg Oncol.  2009;16(7):1959-72.
  • Kilbreath SL, Ward LC, Lane K, McNeely M, et al. Effect of air travel on lymphedema risk in women with history of breast cancer. Breast cancer Res Treat. 2010;120(3):649-54.
  • Casley-smith JR, Casley-smith JR. Lymphedema initiated by aircraft flightsAviat Space Environ Med. 1996;67(1):52-6. 
  • Torres lacomba M, Yuste sánchez MJ, Zapico goñi A, et al. Effectiveness of early physiotherapy to prevent lymphoedema after surgery for breast cancer: randomised, single blinded, clinical trialBMJ. 2010;340:b5396.
  • Cemal, Y, Pusic A, Mehrara BJ. Preventative Measures for Lymphedema: Separating Fact from Fiction. J Am Coll Surg. 2011; 213(4):543-51.
  • Ahmed RL, Schmitz KH, Prizment AE, Folsom AR. Risk factors for lymphedema in breast cancer survivors, the Iowa Women's Health StudyBreast Cancer Res Treat. 2011;130(3):981-91.

IX. Psychosocial Issues/Quality of Life

Currents 2012-2014

  • Fu MR., Ridner S., Hu SH., Steward B., et al. Psychosocial Impact of Lymphedema: A systematic review of literature from 2004 to 2011. Psycho-Oncology, 2013;22(7):1466-84. DOI: 10.1002/pon.3201. Epub 2012 Oct 9. PMID: 23044512
  • Ridner SH, Bonner CM, Deng J, Sinclair VG. Voices from the shadows: living with lymphedemaCancer Nurs. 2012;35(1):E18-26.
  • Degnim AC, Miller J, Hoskin TL, et al. A prospective study of breast lymphedema: frequency, symptoms, and quality of lifeBreast Cancer Res Treat. 2012;134(3):915-22.
  • Fu MR, Kang Y. Psychosocial impact of living with cancer-related lymphedemaSemin Oncol Nurs. 2013;29(1):50-60.
  • Fu MR, Ridner SH, Hu SH, Stewart BR, Cormier JN, Armer JM. Psychosocial impact of lymphedema: a systematic review of literature from 2004 to 2011Psycho-oncology. 2013;22(7):1466-84.


  • Chachaj A, Małyszczak K, Pyszel K, Lukas J, et al. Physical and psychological impairments of women with upper limb lymphedema following breast cancer treatment. Psycho-Oncology 2010;19:299-305. doi:10.1002/pon.1573
  • Vassard D, Olsen MH, Zinckernagel L, Vibe-Petersen J, et al. Psychological consequences of lymphoedema associated with breast cancer: A prospective cohort study. European Journal of Cancer. 2010;46:3211-3218. 
  • Hormes JM, Bryan C, Lytle LA, et al. Impact of lymphedema and arm symptoms on quality of life in breast cancer survivorsLymphology. 2010;43(1):1-13.
    Woods M. Patients' perceptions of breast-cancer-related lymphoedemaEur J Cancer Care (Engl). 1993;2(3):125-8.
  • Radina ME, Watson WK, Faubert K. Lymphoedema and Sexual Relationships in Mid/Later LifeJournal of Lymphoedema. 2008;3(2):20-37.
  • Radina E. Breast-Cancer Related Lymphoedema: Implications for Family Leisure ParticipationFamily Relations. 2009; 58(4):445-59.
  • Ahmed RL, Prizment A, Lazovich D et al. Lymphedema and quality of life in breast cancer survivors: the Iowa Women's Health Study. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26(35):5689-96.

X. Palliative Care

Currents 2012-2014

  • Cheville AL, Andrews K, Kollasch J, et al. Adapting Lymphedema Treatment to the Palliative Setting. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2014;31(1):38-44.
  • Beck M, Wanchai A, Stewart BR, et al. Palliative care for cancer-related lymphedema: a systematic review. J Palliat Med. 2012;15(7):821-7.