Maís M. Vanzella, Thais R. S. Paulo, Luiz Carlos M. Vanderlei, Juliana Viezel, Sylvia C. Seidinger, Luana A. Gonzaga, Ana Laura Ricci-Vitor, Ismael F. Freitas Jr

Institution: Instituto Nacional de Câncer (INCA)

“Objective: To analyze the influence of lymphedema in the prognosis of patients with breast cancer. Methods: Cohort study of women undergoing surgery with axillary lymphadenectomy for the treatment of breast cancer in the Cancer Hospital III / INCA between August 2001 and November 2002. Lymphedema was considered as the main exposure. The outcome was overall survival time, which was defined as the interval between the date of surgery and the date of death or last follow-up. Descriptive analysis was performed. Exploratory evaluation of survival at 10 years was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method. The Cox regression model was used for multivariate analysis. This study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of INCA. Results: We included 961 women followed for an average of 109.50 months (SD ± 47.21). Most of them were younger than 55 years, without a partner, had low education and were not obese (63.3%). Lymphedema incidence was 32%. Crude analysis using the Cox regression model showed that those who had lymphedema had 22% less risk of dying compared to those who did not have lymphedema (HR = 0.78; 95% CI 0.62 to 0.99). After adjustment for positive lymph nodes, staging and metastasis, there was no association between the occurrence of lymphedema and the risk of death (HR = 0.84; 95% CI 0.66 to 1.07). Conclusion: Lymphedema did not influence the prognosis of women with breast cancer. Key-words: Breast cancer, Lymphedema, Survival analysis, Epidemiology”