Short-term morbidity of the upper limb after sentinel lymph node biopsy or axillary lymph node dissection for stage I or II breast carcinoma

J.S. Rietman, P.U. Dijkstra, J.H. Geertzen, P. Baas, J de Vries, W. Dolsma, J.W. Groothoff, W.H. Eisma, H.J. Hoekstra

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. The goals of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) are to improve axillary staging and reduce unnecessary axillary lymph node dissections (ALND), thereby reducing treatment-related upper-limb morbidity. In the current prospective study, short-term upper-limb morbidity was assessed after SLNB and/or ALND.

METHODS. The study comprised 204 patients with Stage I/II breast carcinoma. Mean patient age was 55.6 years (standard deviation, 11.6). Sixty-six patients (32%) underwent SLNB only, and 138 (68%) underwent a Level I-II ALND. Assessment (preoperative [t0] and 6 weeks postoperative [t1]) included evaluation of shoulder range of motion, muscle strength, grip strength, pain, upper/forearm circumference, shoulder disability, and activities of daily life (ADL).

RESULTS. Considerable treatment-related upper-limb morbidity was observed. Significant (P <0.001) changes were found for pain, range of motion in forward flexion, abduction and abduction/external rotation, strength of shoulder abductors and elbow flexors, and in perceived disability in ADL. However, no significant difference in change of upper-limb function and ADL was found between the SLNB and ALND groups.

CONCLUSIONS. Significant short-term treatment-related upper-limb morbidity exists after SLNB or ALND. There is no significant difference in short-term treatment-related morbidity between SLNB and ALND.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-696
Number of pages7
JournalCancer
Volume98
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15-Aug-2003
Event55th Annual Cancer Symposium of the Society-of-Surgical-Oncology -
Duration: 14-Mar-200217-Mar-2002

Keywords

  • breast carcinoma
  • staging
  • sentinel lymph node
  • morbidity
  • activities of daily life
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • ARM MORBIDITY
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL MORBIDITY
  • CANCER PATIENTS
  • SURGERY
  • IMPACT
  • PAIN
  • LYMPHADENECTOMY
  • RELIABILITY
  • DISABILITY

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