Authors: , , , , , , ,


The aim of the study was to compare Quality of Life (QOL) of breast cancer patients with and without secondary lymphedema (SLE) using a cross-sectional design with a convenience sample. Research packets were mailed to 2088 breast cancer patients (BrCaPt). The QOL component ofthe study used the Quality of Life Instrument- Breast Cancer Patient Version for data collection. The sample (n = 537) was 12.9% African-American/Hispanic/Other (AA) and 87.1% European-American (EA). One hundred and twenty-two women (22.7%) reported SLE. Overall and subscale means were computed and ANOVA was determined for seven variables: age, marital status,educational level, race, type of surgery, time since diagnosis, and SLE. Women without SLE had a higher overall mean QOL score compared to women with SLE (p=0.02). Women with a greater than high school education had a higher mean QOL score compared to women with high school or less education (p=0.05). SLE patients had poorer QOL in the physical (p<0.001), and social(p=0.004) subscales. Older women had a higher overall QOL compared to younger women (p<0.001). These results provide insight into the impact of SLE on women’s QOL and pinpoint that physical and social well being are negatively influenced by SLE.

Keywords: secondary lymphedema, breast cancer, mastectomy, quality of life, social well being

How to Cite: Heiney, S. , McWayne, J. , Cunningham, J. , Hazlett, L. , Parrish, R. , Bryant, L. , Vitoc, C. & Jansen, K. (2007) “QUALITY OF LIFE AND LYMPHEDEMA FOLLOWING BREAST CANCER”, Lymphology. 40(4).