Evaluation of the extent of movement of the shoulder after breast cancer treatment.

Silvia H Silvia, José M Godoy

Abstract


Treatment of breast cancer generally involves quadrantectomy and mastectomy followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy depending on indication. The object of the present study was to verify the extent of movement of the shoulder after breast cancer treatment and the influence of the type of surgery (quadrantectomy and mastectomy). A total of 90 women submitted to surgery for breast cancer in the Region of Catanduva, Brazil and a control group of 20 women without surgical compromise were evaluated. The extents of bilateral flexion and abduction movements of the shoulders were assessed by goniometry. The non-matched student t-test and Fisher exact test were utilized for statistical analysis with an alpha error of up to 5% being considered acceptable. Differences of 20 degrees or more in the extent of movement of the shoulders of women submitted to surgery were seen in 47.7% of the cases for flexion and in 56.6% for abduction. The compromise to the movement of the shoulder in the control group was less than 20 degrees in 9 (45%) of the women. On comparing the incidence of alterations in the movements of the arms of women submitted to surgery with the control group, a significant difference was identified for both limbs (p-value < 0.01). The articular mobility of both arms of patients submitted to treatment for breast cancer can be affected.

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