A prospective model of care for breast cancer rehabilitation: Postoperative and postreconstructive issues

Department of Physical Therapy and Oncology, University of Alberta and Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.89). 04/2012; 118(8 Suppl):2226-36. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.27468
Source: PubMed


Appropriate and timely rehabilitation is vital in the recovery from breast cancer surgeries, including breast conserving surgery, mastectomy, axillary lymph node dissection (ALND), and breast reconstruction. This article describes the incidence, prevalence, risk factors and time course for early postoperative effects and the role of prospective surveillance as a rehabilitation strategy to prevent and mitigate them. The most common early postoperative effects include wound issues such as cellulitis, flap necrosis, abscess, dehiscence, hematoma, and seroma. Appropriate treatment is necessary to avoid delay in wound healing that may increase the risk of long-term morbidity, unduly postpone systemic and radiation therapy, and delay rehabilitation. The presence of upper quarter dysfunction (UQD), defined as restricted upper quarter mobility, pain, lymphedema, and impaired sensation and strength, has been reported in over half of survivors after treatment for breast cancer. Moreover, evidence suggests that survivors who undergo breast reconstruction may be at higher risk of UQD. Ensuring the survivor's optimum functioning in the early postoperative time period is critical in the overall recovery from breast cancer. The formal collection of objective measures along with patient-reported outcome measures is recommended for the early detection of postoperative morbidity. Prospective surveillance, including preoperative assessment and structured surveillance, allows for early identification and timely rehabilitation. Early evidence supports a prospective approach to address and minimize postoperative effects.

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    • " The Breast xxx (2014) 1e7 Please cite this article in press as: Unukovych D, et al., Physical therapy after prophylactic mastectomy with breast reconstruction: A prospective randomized study, The Breast (2014), suggested to decrease problems after breast surgery [13]. With the current study we hypothesized that physical therapy may improve body image and sexuality. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: The rate of prophylactic mastectomies (PM) is increasing. Patients generally report high levels of health related quality of life and satisfaction after the procedure, whereas body image perception and sexuality may be negatively affected. The aim of the study was to evaluate the interest in physical therapy as a means of improving body image and sexuality in women after PM. Patients and methods: Patients undergoing PM at Karolinska University Hospital between 2006 and 2010 were eligible. The following patient-reported outcome measures were used at study baseline and 2 years postoperatively: the body image scale (BIS), the sexual activity questionnaire (SAQ), the short-form health survey (SF-36), the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HAD), and a study specific "pain/motion/sensation scale". Results: Out of 125 patients invited to participate in this prospective randomized study, 43 (34%) consented and were randomized into the intervention (n = 24, 56%) or control (n = 19, 44%) groups. There were no statistically significant between-group differences found with respect to BIS, SAQ, SF-36, HAD, and "pain/motion/sensation". Two years postoperatively, more than half of the patients in both groups reported problems like feeling less attractive, less sexually attractive, their body feeling less whole, and being dissatisfied with their body. A majority marked a decreased sensation in breast area. Conclusion: The interest in a physiotherapy intervention was limited among women who had undergone PM. The intervention did not show any substantial effects. A large proportion of patients reported specific body image related and pain/motion/sensation problems postoperatively.
    Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland) 08/2014; 23(4). DOI:10.1016/j.breast.2014.01.010 · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) has been documented as 1 of the most distressing symptoms reported by breast cancer survivors. CRF affects functioning and impacts quality of life. Possible causal factors include physical conditions, affective and cognitive states, proinflammatory cytokines, and metabolic factors. Several common problems are associated with CRF in women with breast cancer, including treatment side effects, obesity, arm/upper quadrant symptoms, sleep disturbances, psychological effects, and comorbid conditions. In this article, the authors review the state of the knowledge regarding these issues and nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic interventions for CRF. Physical activity and psychosocial interventions are recommended for practice. Numerous limitations of past studies need to be considered in the design of future studies. CRF is prevalent in preoperative, postoperative, and ongoing surveillance phases. Throughout the continuum of care for women with breast cancer, clinicians must screen, further assess as indicated, and treat CRF, because it is associated with emotional distress and limits function and willingness to exercise.
    Cancer 04/2012; 118(8 Suppl):2261-9. DOI:10.1002/cncr.27475 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A significant proportion of adult breast cancer survivors experience deficits in function and restriction in participation in life roles that may remain many years after diagnosis. Function is a complex construct that takes into account the interactions between an individual, their health condition, and the social and personal context in which they live. Research to date on limitations in activities of daily living, upper extremity function, and functional capacity in breast cancer survivors illustrates the need for prospective measurement of function using measures that are sensitive to the unique issues of breast cancer survivors and the need for the development of effective rehabilitation interventions to improve function. Limitations in function have a significant impact on quality of life, but less is known about the implications on return to work and survival, as well as the impact of other comorbidities and aging on the function limitations in breast cancer survivors. This review provides a rationale for the integration of measures of function into breast cancer care to more fully appreciate the functional limitations associated with breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and to aid in the development of better rehabilitation care for breast cancer survivors.
    Cancer 04/2012; 118(8 Suppl):2300-11. DOI:10.1002/cncr.27464 · 4.89 Impact Factor
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