Arm Lymphoedema, Shoulder Mobility and Muscle Strength after Breast Cancer Treatment ? A Prospective 2-year Study

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Arm lymphoedema and impaired shoulder mobility and muscle strength are well known side-effects to breast cancer treatment. The aim of this prospective study was to follow closely and describe the arm volume, range of motion of the shoulder and muscle strength of the shoulder and hand after breast cancer treatment in order to form a basis for further studies in the area including physiotherapy intervention. Sixty-one women treated for breast cancer with axillary dissection, with or without postoperative radiotherapy, were examined preoperatively and monthly until 6 months after the operation with 1- and 2-year follow-ups. 1 month after the operation, results revealed decrease in range of motion, after 2 months increase in arm volume difference and after the first 6 months decrease in muscle strength of shoulder adductors, flexors and internal rotators. A greater increase in arm volume difference and decrease in shoulder abduction, flexion and external rotation were noted throughout the follow-up period for the group receiving radiotherapy to the axdefinition illa area. Postoperative physiotherapeutic management needs to pay special attention to early impairments after breast cancer treatment particularly to the group receiving radiotherapy to the axilla area. Physiotherapeutic treatment might be introduced during the period when radiotherapy is being given.


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Sidor (från-till)55-66
Antal sidor12
TidskriftAdvances in Physiotherapy
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2001
Peer review utfördJa