Risk, severity and predictors of physical and psychological morbidity after axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer

J.M. Ververs, R.M.H. Roumen, A.J.J.M. Vingerhoets, G. Vreugdenhil, J.W.W. Coebergh, M.A. Crommelin, E.J.Th. Luiten, O.J. Repelaer van Driel, M. Schijven, J.C. Wissing, A.C. Voogd

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    Abstract

    The aim of this study was to investigate the nature and severity of the arm complaints among breast cancer patients after axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) and to study the effects of this treatment-related morbidity on daily life and well-being. 400 women, who underwent ALND as part of breast cancer surgery, filled out a treatment-specific quality of life questionnaire. The mean time since ALND was 4.7 years (range 0.3-28 years). More than 20% of patients reported pain, numbness, or loss of strength and 9% reported severe oedema. None of the complaints appeared to diminish over time. Irradiation of the axilla and supraclavicular irradiation were associated with a 3.57-fold higher risk of oedema (ods ratio (OR) 3.57; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.66-7.69) causing many patients to give up leisure activities or sport. Women who underwent irradiation of the breast or chest wall more often reported to have a sensitive scar than women who did not receive radiotherapy. Women
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)991-999
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer: Official journal for European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
    Volume37
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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  • Cite this

    Ververs, J. M., Roumen, R. M. H., Vingerhoets, A. J. J. M., Vreugdenhil, G., Coebergh, J. W. W., Crommelin, M. A., Luiten, E. J. T., Repelaer van Driel, O. J., Schijven, M., Wissing, J. C., & Voogd, A. C. (2001). Risk, severity and predictors of physical and psychological morbidity after axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer. European Journal of Cancer: Official journal for European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), 37(8), 991-999.