The Value of Physiotherapy after Breast Cancer Treatment

Original article


Dhandapani Prem Kumar, Momen Abdou Alkhir, Premkumar Remya

Teaching Staff, Faculty of Public Health, Al-Arab Medical University, Benghazi, Libya

JMJ Vol.8, No.2 (Summer) 2008:97-100


Objective: Many patients suffer from severe shoulder complaints after breast cancer treatment. Physiotherapy has been clinically observed to improve treatment of these patients. Shoulder and arm exercises are a routine part of postoperative care after breast cancer surgery. There appears to be a wide variation in recommendations in relation to the commencement of shoulder mobilisation in the postoperative period. Aim of the study: The aim of this study is to investigate the value of physiotherapy treatment of shoulder function in patients who have undergone breast cancer surgery. Methods: Thirty two patients following breast cancer treatment were included in this clinical study. Assessments were made at baseline and after six months. These patients received standardised physiotherapy treatment of advice and exercises for the arm and shoulder for six months. If necessary soft tissue massage to the surgical scar was applied. The main outcome variables were amount of shoulder mobility (flexion and abduction) measured using goniometry under standardized conditions, after surgery and radiotherapy. Results: All thirty two patients completed the trial. After six months the treatment group showed a significant improvement in shoulder mobility especially in flexion and abduction. Conclusions: Physiotherapy improves shoulder mobility value after breast cancer treatment.

Keywords: Breast cancer, Physiotherapy, Shoulder mobilisation.