PaCCSC RAPID Series - Cancer-related Lymphoedema

A multi-site implementation of early palliative care in routine practice to improve health outcomes and reduce hospital admissions for people with advanced cancer.

Rationale: Lymphoedema is swelling of soft tissues in the limbs or other parts of the body due to a back-log of fluid. It is a common problem in cancer patients and can negatively affect quality of life by causing discomfort, disfigurement and loss of function and/or mobility. Various treatments are used to try to manage lymphoedema but none have a strong evidence base for cancer-related lymphoedema in the relatively frail population of patients receiving palliative care.

Key Aim (s): To explore the patterns of use, effectiveness, side effect and complication profile of three treatment strategies – 1) diuretics, 2) compression and related therapies, and 3) subcutaneous needle drainage – in the management of cancer-related limb lymphoedema in the palliative care patient cohort.

Potential Impact: This collaborative work undertaken with PaCCSC (hyperlink) will inform key therapies to be further tested in clinical trials and guide practice to manage this difficult symptom.

Key contact: Beth Russell beth.russell@svha.org.au

Funding: Collaboration with Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative