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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. 17 - 21 Aug 2008. 25 pp, pp. 71-72.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


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.

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Published date: 20 August 2008
Additional Information: Concurrent Session #D3 “Post Treatment Effects and Concerns”
Venue - Dates: 15th International Conference on Cancer Nursing, 2008-08-17 - 2008-08-21


Local EPrints ID: 64523
PURE UUID: 95954803-7f35-4314-a394-57fe72f5891e

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Date deposited: 09 Jan 2009
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:13

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