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Self-perceived, but not objective lymphoedema is associated with decreased long-term health-related quality of life after breast cancer surgery
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Orebro University Hospital. Department of Surgery.
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2015 (English)In: European Journal of Surgical Oncology, ISSN 0748-7983, E-ISSN 1532-2157, Vol. 41, no 4, 577-84 p., S0748-7983(15)00002-5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: The primary aim was to compare long-term health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients undergoing sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) alone versus axillary lymph node dissection (ALND), with or without axillary metastases. Secondary aims were to a) investigate agreement between objectively measured and self-reported lymphoedema and b) compare, with respect to HRQoL, women with objective arm lymphoedema without subjective ratings and those with no objective but subjective ratings of arm lymphoedema.

METHODS: The three study groups were defined by axillary surgery: 1) SLNB alone (N = 140), 2) ALND in patients without axillary metastases (N = 125) and 3) ALND in patients with axillary metastases (N = 155). Preoperatively, one and three years postoperatively arm volume was measured and questionnaires regarding self-perceived symptoms of arm lymphoedema and HRQoL were completed (The Swedish Short Form-36 Health Survey, SF-36).

RESULTS: Out of the original 516 who had axillary surgery, 420 (81%) completed the study. There were no statistically significant differences in HRQoL between the three study groups. No statistically significant agreement was found between self-perceived and objectively measured arm lymphoedema. Women without self-perceived arm lymphoedema, regardless of objective arm lymphoedema or not, scored higher on all eight SF-36 domains than those who reported self-perceived arm lymphoedema.

CONCLUSION: Women reporting self-perceived arm lymphoedema, regardless of objective lymphoedema or not, have a decreased long-term health-related quality of life. This indicates that more attention should be given to the subjective reports of symptom in order to better help these women.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 41, no 4, 577-84 p., S0748-7983(15)00002-5
Keyword [en]
Arm lymphoedema, Axillary lymph node dissection, Breast cancer, Health-related quality of life, Self-perceived symptoms, Sentinel lymph node biopsy
National Category
Cancer and Oncology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-56691DOI: 10.1016/j.ejso.2014.12.006PubMedID: 25659877OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-56691DiVA: diva2:1083675
Available from: 2017-03-22 Created: 2017-03-22 Last updated: 2017-03-22Bibliographically approved

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