Background: Obesity has long been considered a risk factor for breast cancer–related lymphedema (BCRL), but the benefits of weight reduction in managing BCRL have not been clearly established. Objective: To evaluate the beneficial effects of weight loss interventions (WLIs) on the reduction and prevention of BCRL. Methods: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis by searching the PubMed, Scopus, and Embase databases from their earliest record to October 1st, 2019. We included randomized and non-randomized controlled trials involving adult patients with a history of breast cancer, that compared WLI groups with no-WLI groups, and provided quantitative measurements of lymphedema. Results: Initial literature search yielded 461 nonduplicate records. After exclusion based on title, abstract, and full-text review, four randomized controlled trials involving 460 participants were included for quantitative analysis. Our meta-analysis revealed a significant between-group mean difference (MD) regarding the volume of affected arm (MD = 244.7 mL, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 145.3–344.0) and volume of unaffected arm (MD = 234.5 mL, 95% CI: 146.9–322.1). However, a nonsignificant between-group MD of −0.07% (95% CI: 1.22–1.08) was observed regarding the interlimb volume difference at the end of the WLIs. Conclusions: In patients with BCRL, WLIs are associated with decreased volume of the affected and unaffected arms but not with decreased severity of BCRL measured by interlimb difference in arm volume.
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