A case control, cross-sectional survey of joint and muscle aches, pains and stiffness in women with primary breast cancer

Fenlon, D. (2008) A case control, cross-sectional survey of joint and muscle aches, pains and stiffness in women with primary breast cancer. At 15th International Conference on Cancer Nursing, Singapore, 17 - 21 Aug 2008. 25pp, 71-72.


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Background: As the detection and treatment of breast cancer is improving, more
women are living with the long-term sequelae of breast cancer treatment. Joint
aches, pains and stiffness are some of the most commonly described problems
amongst these women, and the limited research evidence suggests these may
be experienced by three quarters of women following primary breast cancer
treatment (Carpenter and Andrykowski 1999). While these symptoms may be
caused by ageing and/or the menopause, there is some evidence to suggest
that they are specific to or exacerbated by primary breast cancer treatment
(Felson and Cummings 2005). Although they are reported as common problems,
very little research has focused specifically on them and detailed information
about their prevalence, causes and impact on women is not available.

Aims: To determine the prevalence of joint aches, pains and stiffness in women after
treatment for primary breast cancer and to compare with an age matched control.
To explore the severity and impact of these symptoms

Methods: This is a cross-sectional survey comparing 260 women who have
completed treatment for primary breast cancer with an age-matched
group of 260 women without breast cancer attending for mammographic
screening. Measures used are the Nordic questionnaire for analysis of
musculoskeletal pain, the Brief Pain Inventory and the SF-36 general health
questionnaire. Medical details have been gathered along with information
on conditions which could cause joint pain and stiffness, such as rheumatoid
arthritis, fibromyalgia etc. and other factors which may have a bearing
on these pains such as:menopausal status, lymphoedema and weight.

Results: Preliminary results suggest that 64% women report new joint pains
since breast cancer diagnosis as opposed to 32% age matched women
without breast cancer reporting similar pain. 78% women with breast cancer
had had joint pain in the last 7 days; 82% had experienced pain within the
last 12 months; 30% said this interfered with their ability to carry out normal
activities and the average pain score in the last 24 hours was 4.6 (max 10).

Conclusions: This research suggests that joint aches, pains and stiffness in
women after breast cancer treatment are significantly higher than in the general
population. Detail is required about their onset, duration and impact on women’s
lives, and research is needed to identify and test potential interventions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Additional Information: Concurrent Session #D3 “Post Treatment Effects and Concerns”
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RT Nursing
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Superseded (SONM) > Superseded (CPE)
ePrint ID: 64523
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
20 August 2008Published
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:49
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/64523

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