Themajority of these studies focused on the influences of breast cancer and itstreatment on HRQOL and analyzed the impact of sociodemographic and clinicaldata 17, 19–26, 28, or examining the knowledge, attitude and perceptions ofwomen with breast cancer towards their HRQOL 16. Healthrelated quality of life has become an important outcome measure in thetreatment of cancer patients during the last decade. It is a multidimensional construct encompassingseveral domains of health such as physical, emotional, social and functionalwellbeing 1, 2. Recently, HRQOL has been considered asan important endpoint for women diagnosed and living with breast cancer and theHRQOL is receiving more and more attention from researchers.
As it facilitatedoctor – patient communication, and can be used as diagnostic tools forproblem- oriented follow – up care, and as strong predictors of survival 6,7. Therefore, several studies thatassessed HRQOL have been conducted in various Arab countries: Egypt, 17–19United Arab Emirates, 20 Kuwait, 21 Tunisia, 22 Yemen, 23 Lebanon, 24Bahrain, 25, 26 Morocco, 27, Jordan. 28, and Saudi Arabia 29, 30. Breast cancer-related lymphedema(BCRL) is the most common complications reported following breast cancer surgeriesand therapy.
The reported incidence of BCRL varies greatly and ranges between2% and 83% 13-17. These variations in incidence are largely depended on the definition,duration of lymphedema and measurement tools. BCRL isnot a life threating condition, however, it has a significant impact on thepatient’s emotional, physical, social and psychological aspect, with subsequentinfluencing on quality of life (QOL). Lymphedema affects many social aspects ofthe participants’ lives such as role function, lack of social support, and painand disability 36-44. Collectively, these problems place an increased stresson the entire body and are associated with poor treatment outcomes 4-7.
Breast cancer isthe most commoncause of canceramong women worldwide1. Breastcancer accounts for 25.1% of the female cancer in Saudi Arabia 2.
Dueto early detection and improvements in diagnostics and treatment regimes, thesurvival rate of breast cancer women is increased. The 5 year survivals for the younger(< 40 years), older (50+ years) and 40-49 years patients were 60.6%, 51.6%and 69.2% respectively 1,3.