Date of Award

6-2020

Document Type

Thesis

First Advisor

Mohamed Elhamadany

Keywords

Breast cancer treatment, breast lumpectomy, scapular stabilization, scar tissue mobilization, lymphedema prevention, Quick DASH outcome measure, chemotherapy, radiation therapy.

Abstract

Background and Purpose. This case report describes and evaluates the clinical decision-making process, physical therapy interventions, and clinical outcomes of a patient with upper extremity pain and functional limitations that presented following breast cancer treatment including a right breast lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Case Description. The patient was a 68-year-old female who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the right breast and received post-surgical physical therapy simultaneously with radiation therapy.

Intervention. Physical therapy interventions were developed with an emphasis on low intensity and short duration cardiovascular activity, thoracic mobility, upper extremity strengthening, scapular stabilization, scar tissue mobilization, and lymphedema prevention and management. Physical fatigue and pain and tenderness in the right upper extremity following radiation therapy were taken into consideration when choosing exercise progressions.

Outcomes. Outcomes were measured using the Quick DASH outcome measure. Following 6 physical therapy treatment sessions, the patient demonstrated improvements in gross motor skills, functional activities of daily living, and general pain in the right upper extremity.

Discussion. Although the patient demonstrated positive results in gross motor skills and functional activities following physical therapy treatment, further research is recommended to analyze the long-term results of physical therapy intervention and the best plan of care following a unilateral breast lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

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