Upper Extremity Problems and Quality of Life in Patients with Breast Cancer


  • Emel Yılmaz
  • Teoman Coşkun

Received Date: 10.01.2018 Accepted Date: 24.10.2018 Med J Bakirkoy 2019;15(1):29-37


The study was conducted to determine upper extremity problems and quality of life in patients with breast cancer who underwent breast surgery and axillary dissection.


This descriptive and cross-sectional research was included 64 patients who admitted for outpatient clinic between 01.01.2015-01.01.2016 in university hospital in western of Turkey and previously undergone surgery for breast cancer. The data was collected personal information form, Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI) the Shortened Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand Questionnaire (Q-DASH), Breast Cancer Module Quality of Life Scale (EORTC QLQ-BR23) and Short Form-36 (SF-36). Statistical analyses were performed using descriptive statistics, Chi Ssquare test, Mann Whitney U test, Kruskal Walles test and the Spearman’s correlation coefficient.


Mean age of the study group was 52.36±12.25 years. It was found that 54.7% of the patients were applied modified radical mastectomy and axillary dissection, and average time passed after surgery 11.27±10.00 months. Affected arm had shoulder pain (53.1%), restrictions on shoulder (51.6%) and lymphedema (21.9%).It was determined that patients were received low scores from SPADI and Q-DASH, and SF-36 physical and mental summary scores of below the average. The EORTC QLQ-BR23 functional status and symptom subscales scores of patients were low.


It was seen that patients’ quality of life was low, their functional status was poor, and cancer-related symptoms to be less. The working with multidisciplinary team on preoperative and postoperative will help prevent complications and increase the quality of life.

Keywords: Breast Cancer, extremity problems, quality of life

Full Text (Turkish)