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Journal of the Korean Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine 2011;35(2):207-213.
The Effect of Sodium Selenite on Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema.
Kim, Byung Hun , Hwang, Ki Hun , Jeong, Ho Joong , Kim, Ghi Chan , Sim, Young Joo
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan 602-702, Korea. oggum@hanmail.net
Abstract
Objective
To investigate the effects of complex decongestive physiotherapy (CDPT) with sodium selenite compared to the effects of CDPT without sodium selenite for the treatment of breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL). Method Patients (n=40) who were diagnosed with BCRL were randomly assigned to the two groups: sodium selenite group or the non-sodium selenite group. In the sodium selenite group, sodium selenite was administered for 100 days concurrently with CDPT. In the non-sodium selenite group, only CDPT was administered. The main outcome measurements included limb circumference (proximal, distal and total) to indicate volume changes, the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the short form-36 version 2 questionnaire (SF-36) scores to evaluate the quality of life (QoL) pre- treatment, 100 days post-treatment and 130 days post-treatment for each patient.
Results
The sodium selenite group experienced volume reduction of 8.22% and 9.21%, at 100 and 130 days post- treatment, respectively. The non-sodium selenite group experienced 5.57% and 6.11% reduction in swelling at the same periods. Between the two groups, more significant volume reduction was observed in the affected distal limbs of patients assigned to the sodium selenite group compared to patients in the non-sodium group. However, the VAS and the SF-36 scores were not significantly different between the two groups. Conclusion Sodium selenite therapy in combination with CDPT is effective in reducing the volume of upper limb in BCRL, and significantly reduce the volume of the affected distal upper limb compared to CDPT alone.
Key Words: Lymphedema, Sodium selenite, Complex decongestive physiotherapy


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