Quality of life after Sentinal Lymph Node Biopsy or Axillary Node Dissection in Stage I/II Breast Patients: A Prospective Longitunal Study

Jan Kootstra, Josette E.H.M. Hoekstra-Weebers, Hans Rietman, Jaap de Vries, Peter Baas, Jan H.B. Geertzen, Harald J. Hoekstra

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37 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background: Breast cancer patients’ quality of life (QoL) after surgery has been reported to improve significantly over time. Little is known about QoL recovery after sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) in comparison to axillary lymph node dissection (ALND).

Methods: 175 of 195 stage I/II breast cancer patients completed the EORTC QLQ-C30: one day before surgery (T0) and after 6 (T1), 26 (T2), 52 (T3) and 104 (T4) weeks. Of these, 54 patients underwent SLNB, 56 SLNB+ALND and 65 ALND. General linear models and paired T-tests between T0–T4 and T1–T4 were computed. Complications, radiotherapy and systemic therapy were added to the model.

Results: Significant time effects were found on physical, role and emotional functioning. Physical and role functioning decreased between T0 and T1. At T4, SLNB patients’ functioning had increased to their T0 level; ALND (+/– SLNB) patients’ functioning had increased, but had not improved to T0 level. Emotional functioning increased linearly between T0 and T4. At T4, emotional functioning was significantly higher in all groups as compared with T0. No significant group or interaction (time × group) effects were found. Complications and chemotherapy had a significant negative effect on role, emotional and cognitive functioning. Complications had a significant effect on social functioning also. Effect sizes varied between 0.00 and 0.06.

Conclusion: Two years post surgery, breast cancer patients’ QoL is comparable to that shortly before surgery. Women rated their emotional functioning as even better. SLNB is not associated with a better QoL than ALND. However, undergoing systemic therapy and/or experiencing complications affects QoL negatively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2533-2541
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Volume15
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Breast
  • Cancer
  • Quality of life
  • SLNB
  • ALND
  • Stage I–II

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