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Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

ISSN Print: 0896-2960
ISSN Online: 2162-6553

Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevPhysRehabilMed.v20.i1.10
pages 1-23

Rehabilitation of Breast Cancer-Related Functional Deficits

Mabel E. Caban
Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555
Rajesh Yadav
Department of Palliative Care and Symptom Control, UT-MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030


Promoting functional and psychological well-being is a priority in the management of breast cancer patients. This review, encompassing Medline literature from 1990 to 2007, provides a conceptual framework for assessing the interrelations between breast cancer and its treatments, related anatomical structures, functional deficits, and rehabilitative services. Focuses include the description, diagnosis, and treatment in brief of seroma, adhesive capsulitis, lymphedema, and the postmastectomy pain, phantom breast, axillary web, and myofascial pain syndromes. Also discussed are breast reconstruction, bone pain, pathological fractures, cognitive dysfunction, weakness, fatigue, depression, and cardiovascular and pulmonary toxicities. This review should be of use to both clinicians and researchers in emphasizing function as an important outcome of breast cancer and its treatments.