Axillary web syndrome among Chilean women with breast cancer: incidence and possible predisposing factors
Karol Ramírez-Parada1 & Diana Garay-Acevedo1 & Williams Mella-Abarca1 & Militza Petric-Guajardo2 & César Sánchez-Rojel3 & Margaret L. McNeely4 & Ivana Leao-Ribeiro5 & Rodrigo Fernández-Verdejo6. Supportive Care in Cancer November 2019
Purpose Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer in women worldwide. The main treatment for BC is surgery, which involves an axillary procedure that associates with the development of axillary web syndrome (AWS). The incidence of AWS among Chilean women with BC and its possible predisposing factors are currently unknown. Thus, we aimed to (1) determine the incidence of AWS among Chilean women with BC after surgery and (2) identify possible predisposing factors.
Methods Within 90 days post-surgery, patients were assessed for AWS, i.e., palpable or visible axillary cords in the axillary region extending down from the mid-axilla to the ipsilateral arm. We then computed the odds ratio with 95% confidence interval (OR [95% CI]) for havingAWS considering the following predisposing factors: age,bodymass index (BMI), number of lymph nodes removed, axillary procedure, days from surgery to the physicaltherapy assessment, hospital for the surgery, type of breast surgery, and neoadyuvant chemotherapy.
Results AWS was present in 49 out of 107 patients (45.8%). Younger age and lower BMI appeared as the sole predisposing factors for AWS (age, 0.95 [0.91–0.99]; BMI, normal weight 1.00, overweight 0.35 [0.11–1.12], obesity 0.28 [0.08–0.97]). Conclusion The incidence of AWS among Chilean women with BC was 45.8%. Our study also confirms data from previous reports showing that younger age and low BMI are associated with the development of AWS.