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Vol 8, No 3 (2009)
Original articles
Published online: 2009-11-02
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The problems of patients with lymphoedema. Pilot study of breast cancer survivors

Anna Pyszora, Aleksandra Adamowska, Małgorzata Krajnik
Advances in Palliative Medicine 2009;8(3):101-106.

open access

Vol 8, No 3 (2009)
Original articles
Published online: 2009-11-02

Abstract

Background and aims: Lymphoedema is a serious problem for many breast cancer survivors. It is a chronic condition, which can often limit patients’ activities and result in dramatic life changes. The aim of the study was to define problems the patients contended with.
Material and methods: The clinical study involved 22 patients suffering from post-mastectomy lymphoedema. They were asked to fill in a special lymphoedema physiotherapy assessment form.
Results: All the patients included in the study underwent physiotherapy within lymphoedema treatment. Only three patients (14%) used complex decongestive therapy and most of the patients (82%) had therapy only once a year for twenty days. The results of the study confirm the fact, that lymphoedema is a chronic condition. Fourteen patients (63%) described their lymphoedema as permanent and increasing in time and only three patients (14%) as periodically retreating. The post-mastectomy pain syndrome is another serious problem of patients after surgery. Four of the patients (18%) suffered from pain with the average intensity of 9 on NRS scale (0-10). None of the patients received any special analgetic treatment, which proves that the post-mastectomy pain syndrome is rarely diagnosed and treated.
Conclusion: The study presents the outline of problems and needs of patients after breast cancer surgery. It also emphasizes the importance of physiotherapy in post-mastectomy patients. However, it ought to be continued in a bigger group of patients as to authenticate the observations.

Abstract

Background and aims: Lymphoedema is a serious problem for many breast cancer survivors. It is a chronic condition, which can often limit patients’ activities and result in dramatic life changes. The aim of the study was to define problems the patients contended with.
Material and methods: The clinical study involved 22 patients suffering from post-mastectomy lymphoedema. They were asked to fill in a special lymphoedema physiotherapy assessment form.
Results: All the patients included in the study underwent physiotherapy within lymphoedema treatment. Only three patients (14%) used complex decongestive therapy and most of the patients (82%) had therapy only once a year for twenty days. The results of the study confirm the fact, that lymphoedema is a chronic condition. Fourteen patients (63%) described their lymphoedema as permanent and increasing in time and only three patients (14%) as periodically retreating. The post-mastectomy pain syndrome is another serious problem of patients after surgery. Four of the patients (18%) suffered from pain with the average intensity of 9 on NRS scale (0-10). None of the patients received any special analgetic treatment, which proves that the post-mastectomy pain syndrome is rarely diagnosed and treated.
Conclusion: The study presents the outline of problems and needs of patients after breast cancer surgery. It also emphasizes the importance of physiotherapy in post-mastectomy patients. However, it ought to be continued in a bigger group of patients as to authenticate the observations.
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Keywords

post-mastectomy lymphoedema; breast cancer; physiotherapy

About this article
Title

The problems of patients with lymphoedema. Pilot study of breast cancer survivors

Journal

Advances in Palliative Medicine

Issue

Vol 8, No 3 (2009)

Pages

101-106

Published online

2009-11-02

Bibliographic record

Advances in Palliative Medicine 2009;8(3):101-106.

Keywords

post-mastectomy lymphoedema
breast cancer
physiotherapy

Authors

Anna Pyszora
Aleksandra Adamowska
Małgorzata Krajnik

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