Journal of
Cancer Research and Experimental Oncology

  • Abbreviation: J. Cancer Res. Exp. Oncol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2243
  • DOI: 10.5897/JCREO
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 52

Full Length Research Paper

Health related quality of life among breast cancer patients with unilateral arm lymphedema at cancer diseases hospital in Lusaka, Zambia

Victoria Mwiinga-Kalusopa
  • Victoria Mwiinga-Kalusopa
  • Department of Nursing Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Zambia.
  • Google Scholar
Catherine Ngoma
  • Catherine Ngoma
  • Department of Nursing Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Zambia.
  • Google Scholar
Kennedy Lishimpi
  • Kennedy Lishimpi
  • Cancer Diseases Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 09 March 2016
  •  Accepted: 15 July 2016
  •  Published: 31 August 2016

Abstract

This study aims to determine health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of breast cancer patients with unilateral arm lymphedema one year after completion of treatment at Cancer Diseases Hospital. The study design comprises of a cross sectional study, where we assessed the HRQoL controlling for patient demographics, cancer stages and treatment types. Short form of 36 interview schedule was used to assess HRQol and to determine relationships among HRQoL components. The physical and functional well-being was significantly associated with lymphedema. Patients with moderate lymphedema were 10 times more likely to have physical impairment and 3 times more likely to have mild functionality impairment compared to patients with mild lymphedema. While patients with severe lymphedema were 25 times more likely to have mild functionality impairment compared to patients with mild lymphedema. The study showed that  the physical and functional well-being were significantly affected by the presence of lymphedema after breast cancer  treatment, lymphedema has an impact on long-term health related quality of life in survivors of breast cancer and its effects should not be underestimated.

 

Key words: Health related quality of life, breast cancer, patients, arm lymphedema.