Upper Arm Disability after Axillary Surgery for Early Breast Cancer

Document Type



General Surgery (East Africa)


Background: The treatment of early breast cancer includes surgical removal of the tumor and evaluation of axillary lymph nodes. Axillary lymph node surgery is associated with upper arm morbidity. The impact of this upper arm limitation has a direct effect on the patient’s quality of life. Objectives: To quantify the symptoms of upper extremity disability, and identify correlations between severity of symptoms and type of axillary surgery. Methods: An observational study of 2 groups of patients who had undergone surgery for breast cancer. Data were collected using the DASH® questionnaire and analyzed using SPSS v13®. Results: All 102 participants reported upper extremity symptoms. The mean DASH score for all participants was 51.7. Participants in the retrospective arm had a higher DASH score of 53; those in the prospective arm had a score of 47.3. Conclusion: There was no correlation between severity of symptoms

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.