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Morbidity After Diagnosis and Treatment of Breast Cancer Patients

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified March 2014 by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: November 20, 2001
Last updated: November 11, 2014
Last verified: March 2014

This study will examine the frequency and severity of problems in women with breast cancer for 2 years following initial medical treatment, including:

  • Physical impairments, such as loss of strength or flexibility, increased weight and swelling.
  • Symptom distress, such as pain, fatigue and weakness.
  • Functional limitations and disabilities, such as loss of independence in activities of daily living (e.g., grooming, bathing, dressing, driving a car), work and social and recreational activities.

It will identify factors associated with these problems and try to determine their relationship to them.

Patients 18 years of age and older with stage I, II, III or IV breast cancer may be eligible for this study. Women who have a breast biopsy negative for cancer will also be enrolled as control subjects. Participants will be drawn from patients referred to the National Naval Medical Center for diagnosis and treatment during 2001-2003.

Participants will be evaluated over a 2-year period during an initial baseline visit (before medical treatment or biopsy) and follow-up visits at 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months following procedures:

  • Interview about past medical history and present illness, social and recreational activities, functional independence at work and during activities of daily living.
  • Completion of questionnaires including health survey, upper limb disability questionnaire, and physical activity questionnaire. (Questionnaires are completed only at baseline and 12 and 24 months after medical treatment begins.) The questionnaires take about 30 to 40 minutes to complete.
  • Upper body examination, including pain measurement using a 10-point scale, active and passive range of motion measures, manual muscle testing measures using a 10-point scale, timed upper limb lift test, and measures of upper limb volume and girth.

Breast Cancer

Study Type: Observational
Official Title: A Prospective (Cohort) Study to Identify Factors Affecting Morbidity Following the Diagnosis and Treatment of Patients With Breast Cancer: A Multi-Institutional Study Between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rehabilitation Medicine Department (RMD) and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) Breast Care Center (BCC)

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 500
Study Start Date: November 2001
Detailed Description:

This study longitudinal, prospective (cohort) outcome study will describe the frequency and severity of morbidities and investigate the risk factors for development of morbidity defined as upper limb impairments, functional limitations and disability in a treatment group of approximately 300 patients diagnosed with breast cancer before and after medical and surgical treatment compared to a control group of 300 healthy women.

Subjects will be followed for two-years with periodic examinations (baseline [pre-surgical/medical treatment] and at 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after treatment). In order for cancer survivors to understand the risk of impairment and functional limitations, and disability; and for health care providers to determine the risk of physical impairment, functional limitations, and loss of independence (morbidity) in patients with breast cancer; it is necessary to study these patients from the point of diagnosis (before surgery) to a reasonable period following the completion of the primary treatment program (2 years after medical treatment). Although pain, numbness, fatigue, lymphedema and diminished physical function are described as prevalent and debilitating conditions, remarkably few clinical studies are published describing associated physical impairments, functional limitations or on methods for their control with measures prior to medical intervention and long-term follow-up. While several past reports have identified the impact of medical and surgical intervention on symptom distress and functional capacity of these patients, these studies do not provide sufficient evidence to identify the: 1) level of symptom distress and physical impairment that predicts morbidity in these patients, 2) individual factors that are specific predictors of morbidity in these patients, or 3) time period in which these morbidities occur. The majority of previous studies investigating morbidity of patients with breast cancer following medical and surgical intervention are cross-sectional, case series, retrospective analysis without a comparison/ control group and without baseline measures prior to intervention. The proposed outcome study will include: 1) a five year longitudinal, prospective design that includes a control groups, 2) specific patient process variables such as demographics, medical data, e.g. staging conference information, and the standard upper body clinical examination, and 2) administration of self-report surveys/questionnaires that measure upper limb functional limitations and disabilities, physical activity and quality of life at baseline and follow-up at 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months. Data available in these measurement domains will allow the researchers to determine the:

  1. frequency and severity of: a) symptom distress (fatigue, pain including chronic pain, aching, weakness, burning, tingling, numbness, anxiety, and depression) and pathological conditions (adhesive capsulitis, weakness and atrophy, neuropathy, scar/skin adhesions, lymphedema; b)physical impairments (diminished upper extremity and trunk range of motion/flexibility, strength, coordination and increased girth); and c) functional imitations and disabilities during the course of the medical treatment (loss of independence in or ability to perform routine activities of daily living i.e., grooming, bathing, dressing, driving an automobile, and in some cases, return to their regular work, recreational and social activities).
  2. level of impairment at which these patients have lost independence in function and identify those patients at higher risk for the loss of independence in function (e.g. ADL s), and
  3. risk factors for loss of function and disability.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Population/Subjects: Individuals with breast cancer are identified among the patient population at National Naval Medical Center (NNMC). Patients referred to the NNMC Breast Care Center) NNMC-BCC for diagnosis and management (surgical treatment and radiation treatment or chemotherapy) of histologically established breast cancer (stage I, II, III, or IV) during 2001-2003, are eligible to participate in the study.

Healthy female individuals will be controls.

Subjects must be over 18 years of age and post-puberty as breast cancer does not occur prior to puberty; and been seen pre-surgical or medical intervention for baseline measurements and agree to participate in six follow-up visits of 30-45 minutes in duration during the next two-years.


Subject chooses to not participate in the study.

Subjects are unable to complete the clinical examination tests.

Subjects are unable to complete the questionnaires/surveys.

Subjects are under age 18.

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00027118

Contact: Ellen Levy, PT (301) 496-4733
Contact: Minal Jain, R.P.T. (301) 451-7551

United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Contact: For more information at the NIH Clinical Center contact Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office (PRPL)    800-411-1222 ext TTY8664111010   
National Naval Medical Center Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20889
Sponsors and Collaborators
Principal Investigator: Minal Jain, R.P.T. National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier: NCT00027118     History of Changes
Obsolete Identifiers: NCT00513838
Other Study ID Numbers: 020045, 02-CC-0045
Study First Received: November 20, 2001
Last Updated: November 11, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Breast Conserving Surgery
Functional Status
Quality of Life
Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer Surgery
Healthy Volunteer
Normal Control

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Breast Neoplasms
Breast Diseases
Neoplasms by Site
Skin Diseases processed this record on November 25, 2014