Psychosocial Impact of Living With Cancer-Related Lymphedema

Mei R. Fu, Yang Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To summarize the evidence of and identify factors influencing the psychosocial impact of lymphedema, as well as to discuss nursing strategies. Data Sources: Peer-reviewed publications from 2004 to 2011 in 11 major medical indices. Conclusion: Poorer overall health-related quality of life was reported among cancer survivors with lymphedema. The consistent, detailed, and vivid descriptions from the qualitative studies suggest that cancer-related lymphedema exerts tremendous negative psychosocial impact, which quantitative studies failed to capture. Implications for Nursing Practice: Nursing strategies include helping patients to build a routine for daily care, setting goals, exercise, positive self-talk, providing helpful resources, and organizing support groups. Professional organizations should devote resources to public education through television advertisement, public meetings, and online education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Oncology Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Cancer-related lymphedema
  • Lymphedema care
  • Psychosocial impact
  • Self-care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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