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.
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