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Edema of the upper extremity occurs in 20 per cent of cases of advanced carcinoma of the mammary gland, and in 10 per cent of cases following radical operation for this disease. The edema following radical operation may be caused by previous malignant invasion of the tissues, or it may be due to a badly placed incision, namely, an incision that produces obstruction of the lymphatics from the upper extremity. Incisions with scar tissue contraction that fall within the axillary space are the most frequent cause of edema of the upper extremity. A large number of cases of edema of the arm have occurred as a result of radical operations that have been performed for benign disease of the breast. A careful study of all cases of tumor of the breast, and a planned incision for each case should help to lessen the number of cases of edema of the upper extremity following operation on the mammary gland.
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© 1936 Published by Elsevier Inc.