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Table 2 Time course of breast edema in scientific literature

From: Breast edema, from diagnosis to treatment: state of the art

Reference Follow-up Breast edema prevalence
Verbelen (own data, not published) Prior to RT 52.5%
After termination of RT 63.8%
3 months after RT 55.3%
6 months after RT 57.1%
12 months after RT 47.5%
Adriaenssens 2012 [5] 0–3 months postoperative 93.3%
3–6 months postoperative 73.3%
6–12 months postoperative 82.4%
12–24 months postoperative 80.6%
24–60 months postoperative 65.4%
Berrang 2011 [29] Prior to RT 32%
1 year after RT 16%
3 years after RT 6%
Vicini 2007 [15] > 6 months after RT 32%
> 24 months after RT 22%
> 36 months after RT 0%
Young-Afat 2019 [38] Baseline: prior to RT 12.0%
3 months after baseline 7.1%
6 months after baseline 12.4%
12 months after baseline 8.2%
18 months after baseline 5.5%
Olivotto 1996 [23] Prior to RT 26.6%
3 year after RT 4.3%
5 years after RT 2.6%
Johansson 2015 [37] Prior to RT 29%
2 weeks after RT 39%
3 months after RT 63%
6 months after RT 63%
12 months after RT 39%
24 months after RT 28%
Lam 2020 [39] (meta-analysis) 0–4 weeks after RT 26.2–47.1%
6 months – 10 years after RT 7.2–9.9%
  1. Most studies, apart from Adriaenssens et al. are based on the timing of RT to describe the time course of breast edema. Data concerning the amount of time post-operatively is not available
  2. Based upon the findings of Lam 2020 (a meta-analysis); about 7–10% of the patients will need treatment for breast edema provoked by BCS and radiotherapy
  3. RT radiation therapy