Medical Lasers; Engineering, Basic Research, and Clinical Application  
Clinical Applications of Photobiomodulation Therapy in the Management of Breast Cancer-related Lymphedema
Junwon Min, Yoonjoon Park
Department of General Surgery, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea
Correspondence to: Junwon Min
Department of General Surgery, Dankook University College of Medicine, Dandae-ro, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan 31116, Korea
Tel.: +82-41-550-3927
Fax: +82-41-556-3878
Received: July 1, 2021; Accepted: September 8, 2021; Published online: October 6, 2021.
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This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) is characterized by the persistent accumulation of interstitial fluid in the peripheral tissues after treatment for breast cancer. Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy is widely used as supportive care for patients with BCRL. A search was performed in the PubMed database to find relevant articles published over the last 20 years. Randomized controlled trials that evaluated the efficacy of PBM therapy on BCRL were included. A total of 24 studies were identified through the PubMed database. Seven studies were used for the final analysis, after excluding items that did not meet the duplication and inclusion criteria. Although PBM showed some improvement in reducing arm circumference and the symptoms related to BCRL, the results of the meta-analysis did not show any significant benefit in alleviating lymphedema. Further studies are needed with the recruitment of more participants to evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of PBM in the management of BCRL.
Keywords: Breast cancer; Lymphedema; Photobiomodulation

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