Background: Internal malignancies such as breast cancer, as well as their treatment can often result in skin changes.
Objective: To assess the prevalence of dermatological complaints in patients who are undergoing oncological treatment for breast cancer in a hospital in Tubarão, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Methods: Observational, cross-sectional study, from October 2015 to February 2016 in which 152 patients with the diagnosis of breast cancer, undergoing treatment with chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy and/or surgery, were interviewed and completed a research protocol developed by the author.
Results: The treatment of breast cancer was associated with dermatological complaints in 94.1% of the interviewed, being with hair loss the most frequent, present in 79.6% of the sample, followed by nail changes (56%). Patients with lighter skin phototypes (I, II and III) had a lower risk (p=0.045) of developing skin changes when compared to darker phototypes. Radiation therapy (p=0.011) and oncological surgery (pFisher=0.004) were statistically significant when related to skin changes.
Study limitations: Inherent to the design of the study, as well as recall bias.
Conclusions: It was found that most patients diagnosed with breast cancer showed dermatologic manifestations during the proposed cancer treatment. Patients undergoing radiotherapy and surgery showed skin changes with greater statistical significance.