A study looking at the how people find managing lymphoedema after surgery for breast cancer

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Breast cancer





This study is looking at how people with breast cancer manage looking after a swollen arm caused by a condition called lymphoedema.

If you have breast cancer surgery that involves removing lymph nodes from under your arm, you are at risk of developing a condition called lymphoedema. This is a build up of lymph fluid Open a glossary item that causes swelling. After breast cancer surgery it can develop in the arm on the side you had your surgery.

The aim of treatment is to manage lymphoedema rather than cure it. You may have a combination of skin care, exercise, massage and putting a light, even pressure on the affected limb (compression). For most people, treatment involves caring for their arm themselves, and using compression sleeves to help get their arm back to its original size.

Sticking to this self care plan is really important. Researchers in this study want to learn more about how people manage this daily self care, how they decide whether their swollen arm has got better or worse and how they know whether their treatment is helping the swelling. They will interview 25 people who have had breast cancer treatment and are managing the arm swelling themselves. They hope that the information will help them provide better care and information for people having lymphoedema treatment. And in particular, help them better understand having lymphoedema and the challenges of carrying out their own treatment.

Who can enter

If you are suitable for this study, your lymphoedema clinic will ask if you would like to take part. This study is recruiting men and women who

  • Have lymphoedema related to breast cancer
  • Are having treatment at a lymphoedema clinic
  • Are caring for their lymphoedema themselves
  • Are at least 18 years old

You cannot enter this study if you can’t speak or easily understand English.

Trial design

This study will recruit 25 people. Everyone taking part will have an interview with a researcher.

With your permission, the team will audio record the interview. The researcher will ask questions about how you find carrying out daily treatment of your lymphoedema such as

  • What helps or makes things more difficult for you
  • How you decide whether your swelling is improving

This interview will last about an hour. The team will also ask permission to collect some information from your lymphoedema clinic file, such as details of your treatment plan and how things are going so far.

The team will treat all this information confidentially Open a glossary item, so no one will be able to link the results to you.

Hospital visits

You have your interview in a quiet room in another part of the hospital or hospice where you have your lymphoedema care. Or, if you prefer, the team will arrange somewhere else that is suitable for you and the researcher.

The team will pay your travel expenses, up to the cost of £20.

Side effects

The team do not expect you to have any side effects from taking part in this study. But if you feel upset at the end of the interview, or would like to talk more about any issues raised, you can let the researcher know.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Eunice Jeffs

Supported by

European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS)
Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 10196

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Harriet wanted to try new treatments

A picture of Harriet

“I was keen to go on a clinical trial. I wanted to try new cancer treatments and hopefully help future generations.”

Last reviewed:

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page