BACKGROUND: The identification of factors that are related to return to work after surgery for breast cancer could help healthcare professionals accurately identify patients at risk of return to work-related difficulties in order to provide them with appropriate support during breast cancer management. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify factors related to return to work in breast cancer patients three months after axillary lymph node dissection. METHODS: Seventy-three women who were working before the surgery were evaluated. Age, body mass index, level of lymph node dissection, marital status, children, co-resident household members, preoperative chemotherapy, postoperative chemotherapy, postoperative hormonal therapy, postoperative radiotherapy, shoulder range of motion, upper limb function (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand; DASH), and work were evaluated. Patients who had returned to work constituted the return to work group, and those who had not returned to work constituted the no return to work group. RESULTS: Of the patients, 36 returned to work at three months. Logistic regression analysis including the five variables showed that shoulder flexion range of motion and DASH were significantly associated with return to work (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The observation that the symptoms and limitations of upper limb function and shoulder flexion range of motion affect return to work may indicate the importance of postoperative rehabilitation in breast cancer patients following axillary lymph node dissection.
- upper limb
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health