Prevalence of shoulder morbidity after treatment for breast Cancer in South Africa
until further notice
SourceSupportive Care in Cancer, 27, 7, (2019), pp. 2591-2598
Article / Letter to editor
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Supportive Care in Cancer
SubjectRadboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
PURPOSE: Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and leading cause of cancer death among women, representing a considerable public health burden in South Africa and other low-middle income countries. Short- and long-term complications of these treatments include shoulder morbidities such as pain, decreased range of motion, tightness, weakness, pain, numbness and lymphoedema and may be present for up to 6 years post-treatment. An understanding of baseline demographic and clinical risk factors can guide rehabilitation and management strategies for high-risk patients. The aims of this study were to quantify the burden of shoulder pain and disability in a tertiary academic hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, and identify potential risk factors for the development of shoulder morbidity. METHODS: This study was a cross-sectional analysis of the prevalence of shoulder pain and dysfunction in women attending their post-treatment annual follow-up visit for unilateral breast carcinoma. RESULTS: Three in four patients reported a presence of any pain or disability while only 9% experienced severe pain and disability. Multivariable ordinal logistic regression analysis identified race, side, axillary surgery, chemotherapy and age as significant predictors of pain and chemotherapy a significant predictor of disability. CONCLUSION: The substantial burden of shoulder morbidity in this population represents a significant public health burden. The use of identified clinical and demographic characteristics may guide in the development of survivorship programmes incorporating surveillance and management of these high-risk patients.
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