Breast cancer is cancer that develops from breast tissue. Signs of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, or a red scaly patch of skin. In those with distant spread of the disease, there may be bone pain, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, or yellow skin. Mastectomy is surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer. Therefore it has become the focus of physical therapy to optimize the quality of care and survival, as well as quality of living of women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Objective To determine the effectiveness of physiotherapy intervention in reducing pain and increase the range of motion after radical mastectomy.
Design: Experimental study.
Setting: Participants were admitted in Harshamitra cancer hospital, Trichirappalli (n=10, age range= 35 to 70 years of female)
Participants: Participants 10 women who had radical mastectomy surgery involving dissection of axillary lymph nodes between May 2015 and august 2015.
Intervention: The physical therapy group was treated by a physiotherapist with a physiotherapy programme including manual lymph drainage and progressive active and action assisted shoulder exercises. This group also received an educational strategy. The control group received the educational strategy only.
Measurements: Visual analog scale, Goniometer, arm circumference measurement.
Results: The data obtained was tabulated and statistically analyzed. Due to nature of outcome measures i.e. pain and range of motion, pre and post intervention, parametric statistical tests, dependent t sample test and un paired t test were used. The two-tailed P value is less than 0.0001 by conventional criteria; this difference is considered to be extremely statistically significant of experimental group.
Conclusion: Physical therapy could be an effective intervention in the prevention of reduction of pain, increase the range of motion and secondary lymph edema in women for at least one year after radical mastectomy surgery for breast cancer involving dissection of axillary lymph nodes.