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Physical limitations of breast cancer survivors
Date:9/22/2010

Women who survive breast cancer often suffer from functional limitations that affect motion, strength and dexterity, which may adversely affect all-cause and competing-cause survival but not breast cancer survival, according to a study published online September 22 in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Breast cancer survivors who have functional limitations that affect motion, strength, and dexterity are at the same risk of dying from a recurrence of breast cancer as physically fit survivors, but are more likely to die from other causes.

Breast cancer survivorship is increasing due to improvements in early detection and adjuvant therapy, especially in industrialized countries. Since overall survival is the most therapeutically relevant outcome for cancer patients, little attention has been given to the physical limitations and other health problems that affect particularly older women who have had breast cancer.

Although these problems have been associated with poor treatment tolerance, it is unclear whether these limitations affect risk of death from breast cancer or other competing causes.

To determine how physical limitations following initial breast cancer treatment affect morbidity and mortality among women who have had breast cancer, Dejana Braithwaite, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues, studied 2,202 women with breast cancer in the Life After Cancer Epidemiology cohort, who were followed for up to 11 years after diagnosis. They looked at the impact of functional limitations on survival as a function of age, body mass index, tumor stage, and other lifestyle characteristics.

The researchers found that 39 percent of the participants reported at least one limitation following initial adjuvant treatment. They write, "The pattern of the relationships between functional limitations and survival supports the view that functional limitations have prognostic val
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Contact: Kristine Crane
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1285
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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