A prospective model of care for breast cancer rehabilitation: Postoperative and postreconstructive issues
ABSTRACT 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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ABSTRACT: If couples can maintain normalcy and quality in their relationship during the cancer experience, they may experience greater relational intimacy. Cancer-specific relationship awareness, which is an attitude defined as partners focusing on the relationship and thinking about how they might maintain normalcy and cope with cancer as a couple or "team", is one factor that may help couples achieve this goal. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the associations between cancer-specific relationship awareness, cancer-specific communication (i.e., talking about cancer's impact on the relationship, disclosure, and responsiveness to partner disclosure), and relationship intimacy and evaluate whether relationship communication mediated the association between relationship awareness and intimacy. Two hundred fifty four women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and their partners completed measures of cancer-specific relationship awareness, relationship talk, self-and perceived partner disclosure, perceived partner responsiveness, and relationship intimacy. Results indicated that patients and spouses who were higher in cancer-specific relationship awareness engaged in more relationship talk, reported higher levels of self-disclosure, and perceived that their partner disclosed more. Their partners reported that they were more responsive to disclosures. Relationship talk and perceived partner responsiveness mediated the association between cancer-specific relationship awareness and intimacy. Helping couples consider ways they can maintain normalcy and quality during the cancer experience and framing coping with cancer as a "team" effort may facilitate better communication and ultimately enhance relationship intimacy.Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 05/2014; 31(3):314-334. DOI:10.1177/0265407513494950 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: . While studies suggest most women have little regret regarding their breast cancer treatment decisions immediately following treatment, no studies to date have evaluated how regret may change over time. . To measure the stability of posttreatment decision regret over time among women with breast cancer. . Women diagnosed with breast cancer between August 2005 and May 2007 reported to the Detroit, Michigan, or Los Angeles County Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) registry and completed surveys at 9 months following diagnosis (time 1) and again approximately 4 years later (time 2). A decision regret scale consisting of 5 items was summed to create 2 decision regret scores at both time 1 and time 2 (range, 0-20). Multivariable linear regression was used to examine change in regret from 9 months to 4 years. Independent variables included surgery type, receipt of reconstruction, and recurrence status at follow-up. The model controlled for demographic and clinical factors. . The analytic sample included 1536 women. Mean regret in the overall sample was 4.9 at time 1 and 5.4 at time 2 (P < 0.001). In the multivariable linear model, we found no difference in change in decision regret over time by surgery type. Reporting a new diagnosis of breast cancer at time 2 was associated with a 2.6-point increase in regret over time compared with women without an additional diagnosis (P = 0.003). Receipt of reconstruction was not associated with change in decision regret over time. . Decision regret following treatment was low and relatively stable over time for most women. Those facing an additional diagnosis of breast cancer following treatment may be at risk for elevated regret-related distress. © The Author(s) 2014.Medical Decision Making 12/2014; 35(4). DOI:10.1177/0272989X14564432 · 2.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Axillary web syndrome (AWS) can result in early post-operative and long-term difficulties following lymphadenectomy for cancer and should be recognised by clinicians. This systematic review was conducted to synthesise information on AWS clinical presentation and diagnosis, frequency, natural progression, grading, pathoaetiology, risk factors, symptoms, interventions and outcomes. Electronic searches were conducted using Cochrane, Pubmed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, AMED, PEDro and Google Scholar until June 2013. The methodological quality of included studies was determined using the Downs and Black checklist. Narrative synthesis of results was undertaken. Thirty-seven studies with methodological quality scores ranging from 11 to 26 on a 28-point scale were included. AWS diagnosis relies on inspection and palpation; grading has not been validated. AWS frequency was reported in up to 85.4 % of patients. Biopsies identified venous and lymphatic pathoaetiology with five studies suggesting lymphatic involvement. Twenty-one studies reported AWS occurrence within eight post-operative weeks, but late occurrence of greater than 3 months is possible. Pain was commonly reported with shoulder abduction more restricted than flexion. AWS symptoms usually resolve within 3 months but may persist. Risk factors may include extensiveness of surgery, younger age, lower body mass index, ethnicity and healing complications. Low-quality studies suggest that conservative approaches including analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and/or physiotherapy may be safe and effective for early symptom reduction. AWS appears common. Current evidence for the treatment of AWS is insufficient to provide clear guidance for clinical practice. Cancer survivors should be informed about AWS. Further investigation is needed into pathoaetiology, long-term outcomes and to determine effective treatment using standardised outcomes.Journal of Cancer Survivorship 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11764-015-0435-1 · 3.29 Impact Factor