The impact of lymphedema on health-related quality of life up to 10 years after breast cancer treatment

Mads G Jørgensen, Navid M Toyserkani, Frederik G Hansen, Anette Bygum, Jens A Sørensen

Abstract

The impact of breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL) on long-term quality of life is unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of BCRL on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) up to 10 years after breast cancer treatment. This regional population-based study enrolled patients treated for breast cancer with axillary lymph node dissection between January 1st 2007 and December 31th 2017. Follow up and assessments of the included patients were conducted between January 2019 and May 2020. The study outcome was HRQoL, evaluated with the Lymphedema Functioning, Disability and Health Questionnaire, the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand Questionnaire and the Short Form (36) Health Survey Questionnaire. Multivariate linear logistic regression models adjusted for confounders provided mean score differences (MDs) with 95% confidence intervals in each HRQoL scale and item. This study enrolled 244 patients with BCRL and 823 patients without BCRL. Patients with BCRL had significantly poorer HRQoL than patients without BCRL in 16 out of 18 HRQoL subscales, for example, in physical function (MDs 27, 95%CI: 24; 30), mental health (MDs 24, 95%CI: 21; 27) and social role functioning (MDs 20, 95%CI: 17; 23). Age, BMI, BCRL severity, hand and dominant arm affection had only minor impact on HRQoL (MDs < 5), suggesting a high degree of inter-individual variation in coping with lymphedema. This study showed that BCRL is associated with long-term impairments in HRQoL, especially affecting the physical and psychosocial domains. Surprisingly, BCRL diagnosis rather than clinical severity drove the largest impairments in HRQoL.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer70
TidsskriftCurrent Medical Literature. Breast Cancer
Vol/bind7
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)70
ISSN2374-4677
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 jun. 2021

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