Navigation Links
Breast cancer survivors often rate post-treatment breast appearance only 'fair'
Date:11/2/2010

SAN DIEGO -- A third of breast cancer survivors who received the breast-conserving treatments lumpectomy and radiation rate the appearance of their post-treatment breast as only "fair" or "poor" in comparison to their untreated breast, according to a new University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study that will be presented today at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Diego. In addition, one fifth of patients report complications including chronic pain in their breast or arm and loss of arm or shoulder flexibility following their treatment, the study authors found.

The findings, which are the first to examine patients' own impressions of the cosmetic appearance of their breast following treatment, contrast with previous studies in which clinicians were more likely to label post-treatment breasts as "good" or "excellent" in appearance. The authors say that the findings shed light on how patients' treatment expectations may differ from their physicians', and reveal a need for additional patient education about potential outcomes.

"Most patients are ultimately happy they were able to preserve their breast, but our study shows that often, how they feel about the way they look after treatment is not as good as doctors would have predicted," says lead author Christine Hill-Kayser, MD, an assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.

Among 503 patients surveyed who had a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy, the findings showed that 16 percent reported "excellent" cosmesis, 52 percent "good," 30 percent "fair," and 2 percent "poor." Forty-three percent of women who had these breast-conserving treatments reported chronic skin or soft tissue changes, 22 percent said they had chronic pain in the breast or arm, 21 percent had suffered a loss of arm or shoulder flexibility, and 8 percent had chronic swelling. The study data was collected from patients who voluntarily created an online survivorship care plan using the LIVESTRONG Care Plan Powered by Penn Medicine's Oncolink (http://www.livestrongcareplan.org). This easy-to-use tool, developed by physicians and nurses from the Abramson Cancer Center, provides users with an easy-to-follow roadmap for managing their health as they finish treatment and transition to life as a cancer survivor.

"It's very important that cancer survivors be empowered by information they should be aware not only of the possible complications associated with their treatment, but also that there are things that they can do about many of them," Hill-Kayer says.

Currently, more than half of breast cancer patients undergo both lumpectomy and radiation, a combination of treatments which offer the best chance of cure while avoiding complete removal of the breast among women with Stage I or II cancer. Cosmetic issues that these patients may report include scarring, skin puckering, changes in the color or texture of skin, size or shape asymmetry between the treated and untreated breast, and nipple distortion. Although it may not be possible to correct all of those problems, Hill-Kayser notes there are a variety of therapies available for women with treatment complications, including physical therapy and weight training regimens for patients who experience the painful arm-swelling condition called lymphedema, and shoulder pain and/or stiffening.

"As cure rates for breast and other cancers continue to improve, attention to survivorship issues is more important than ever before," Hill-Kayer says. "Understanding more about the way that survivors feel after their treatment is one step towards helping patients live as well as possible after cancer."


'/>"/>

Contact: Holly Auer
holly.auer@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5659
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Fox Chase researchers identify risk factors for the spread of breast cancer to lymph nodes
2. Majority of community facilities performing breast MRI exams meet ACRIN and EUSOBI technical requirements
3. Maj. of comm. facilities performing breast MRI exams meet ACRIN and EUSOBI technical requirements
4. Dads Family History of Breast, Ovarian Cancer Matters, Too
5. Breast density, no lobular involution increase breast cancer risk
6. Study Finds Green Tea Offers No Protection From Breast Cancer
7. Women Urged to Reclaim Their Life After Breast Cancer
8. Portable breast scanner allows cancer detection in the blink of an eye
9. Breast center receives RI Pink Heals donation
10. New Finding Suggests Safe Surgical Margins When Removing Breast Cancers
11. Chicago racial disparities in breast cancer mortality significantly higher than national average
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) ... FACMI, during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s ... Morris F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... system that we intend to develop to enable prevention of a major side ... severe hearing loss, especially in pediatric patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events and education, today announced that ... for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the Eddie & Ozzie Awards ... recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. This year’s program included ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the ... – Miles by Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. ... , Teams will work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator of the Health ... Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that shares best practices ... , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support CPEN members by ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... FLINT, Mich. , Oct. 2, 2017 ... acquired 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee ... Management LLC. 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for ... product development. "In ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... PHILADELPHIA , Oct. 2, 2017 Halo Labs announces ... particle analysis system called the HORIZON at MIBio 2017 in ... analyzes subvisible and visible particulate matter in biopharmaceutical samples with unprecedented ... use of the novel technique Backgrounded Membrane Imaging. ... The HORIZON subvisible particle analysis system ...
(Date:9/28/2017)... , Sept. 28, 2017 Cohen Veterans ... advance the use of wearable and home sensors for ... disorders. Early Signal Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on ... will provide an affordable analytical system to record and ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: