Upper-body morbidity following breast cancer treatment is common, may persist longer-term and adversely influences quality of life

Hayes, Sandra C., Rye, Sheree, Battistutta, Diana, DiSipio, Tracey, & Newman, Beth (2010) Upper-body morbidity following breast cancer treatment is common, may persist longer-term and adversely influences quality of life. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 8(92).

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Background: Impairments in upper-body function (UBF) are common following breast cancer. However, the relationship between arm morbidity and quality of life (QoL) remains unclear. This investigation uses longitudinal data to describe UBF in a population-based sample of women with breast cancer and examines its relationship with QoL. ---------- Methods: Australian women (n = 287) with unilateral breast cancer were assessed at three-monthly intervals, from six- to 18-months post-surgery (PS). Strength, endurance and flexibility were used to assess objective UBF, while the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy- Breast questionnaire were used to assess self-reported UBF and QoL, respectively. ---------- Results: Although mean UBF improved over time, up to 41% of women revealed declines in UBF between sixand 18-months PS. Older age, lower socioeconomic position, treatment on the dominant side, mastectomy, more extensive lymph node removal and having lymphoedema each increased odds of declines in UBF by at least twofold (p < 0.05). Lower baseline and declines in perceived UBF between six- and 18-months PS were each associated with poorer QoL at 18-months PS (p < 0.05). ---------- Conclusions: Significant upper-body morbidity is experienced by many following breast cancer treatment, persisting longer term, and adversely influencing the QoL of breast cancer survivors.

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ID Code: 37959
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: upper-body function (UBF) , breast cancer, quality of life (QoL)
DOI: 10.1186/1477-7525-8-92
ISSN: 1477-7525
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 The Authors
Deposited On: 14 Oct 2010 22:37
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:27

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