A prospective model of care for breast cancer rehabilitation: function

Cancer. 2012 Apr 15;118(8 Suppl):2300-11. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27464.


A significant proportion of adult breast cancer survivors experience deficits in function and restriction in participation in life roles that may remain many years after diagnosis. Function is a complex construct that takes into account the interactions between an individual, their health condition, and the social and personal context in which they live. Research to date on limitations in activities of daily living, upper extremity function, and functional capacity in breast cancer survivors illustrates the need for prospective measurement of function using measures that are sensitive to the unique issues of breast cancer survivors and the need for the development of effective rehabilitation interventions to improve function. Limitations in function have a significant impact on quality of life, but less is known about the implications on return to work and survival, as well as the impact of other comorbidities and aging on the function limitations in breast cancer survivors. This review provides a rationale for the integration of measures of function into breast cancer care to more fully appreciate the functional limitations associated with breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and to aid in the development of better rehabilitation care for breast cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle Weakness / rehabilitation
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survivors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Upper Extremity / physiopathology