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Cancer Nurs. 1995 Dec;18(6):467-71.

The psychosocial morbidity of breast cancer patients with lymphoedema.

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  • 1Lymphoedema Services, Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey, England.

Abstract

Lymphoedema is a problem for many women after treatment for breast cancer, leading to physical, psychosocial, and psychological problems, which have been acknowledged but are poorly understood. This article discusses the findings of two studies that used the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale to examine the psychosocial morbidity of patients with breast cancer with lymphoedema. Women with lymphoedema were found to experience increased psychosocial maladjustment and psychological morbidity to their disease and lymphoedema when compared with a group of patients with breast cancer who did not have lymphoedema. These difficulties were not related to the degree of swelling present and persisted after 6 months of specialised treatment to the swollen arm. The findings indicate that the development of lymphoedema in patients with breast cancer carries psychosocial and psychological implications that should be acknowledged and addressed at an early stage by a trained health-care professional.

PMID:
8564943
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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