Arm morbidity after complete axillary lymph node dissection for breast cancer.
SourceActa Chirurgica Belgica, 103, 2, (2003), pp. 212-216
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
Acta Chirurgica Belgica
SubjectUMCN 1.5: Interventional oncology
The aim of the study was to clarify the factors causing and/or influence morbidity following axillary dissection in patients treated for breast cancer by either lumpectomy or mastectomy. The records of 106 women with invasive breast cancer treated between 1996 and 1997 were retrospectively reviewed. Objective assessment included measurement of lymphoedema, shoulder mobility and axillary sensation. A questionnaire was used for subjective assessment of arm morbidity and pain. Lymphoedema was present in 13% of patients, a restriction in shoulder function in 24%, while 93% of patients had an impaired sensation in the axillary region. Lymphoedema and restriction in shoulder function were common in patients after adjuvant axillary radiation. Morbidity following axillary lymph node dissection is high and confirms the potentially severe effects of a staging procedure on a relatively young population. Adjuvant radiotherapy increases morbidity significantly and therefore indications for adjuvant axillary radiotherapy should be revised with scrutiny for each patient individually, bearing in mind the disastrous consequences of the combination of radiotherapy and surgery on the axilla.
Upload full text