Morbidity after breast cancer treatment and physiotherapeutic performance


  • Disclosures The authors stated that they have no interests which may be perceived as posing a conflict or bias.

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Breast cancer (BC) accounts for >30% of all new cancer patients among women but with increased early detection rates and improved adjuvant therapy, the 5-year survival rate presently reaches >85%. As the number of BC survivors increases, research into the sequelae of the cancer and its treatment on quality of life is a priority. Understanding the potential complications of treatment and developing effective rehabilitation techniques can reduce the impact of such effects on activities of daily life. The aim of this review is to discuss the major sequelae of treatment for BC, and the physiotherapist's role in the prevention and treatment of such complications. Breast cancer treatment can result in pulmonary and upper extremity morbidities that may manifest either early or late. Prevention and treatment of lymphoedema, scar adherence and pulmonary complications can be achieved. Additionally pain reduction and maintenance of range of movement, muscle strength and adequate posture are parts of physiotherapy, which is an important component in the rehabilitation of women with BC.