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Opening a new or very tight jar, changing a light bulb in the ceiling or even cutting food with a knife are simple activities in the daily life of any person. However, these tasks may not be fully carried out among women with breast cancer, according to the investigation of a study carried out by the CES University in Medellín.

This is a descriptive research with analytical intent that aims to involve at least 150 women with breast cancer and who receive physiotherapeutic treatment. It is led by the Faculty of Physiotherapy of the University in conjunction with an IPS of Antioquia, the research is called:Functional capacity in women with breast cancer who attend the physiotherapy service of Meva Salud IPS, in the municipality of Envigado.

“We are interested in functional capacity because sometimes we are left alone in the structure, that is, to see if the injury is present or not, correct it and that's it. If there is inflammation reduce it, if there is pain reduce it. But we are interested in functional capacity not only to see that there is no pain, but also that they manage to do these daily activities in the best possible way, ” explained Andry Mera Mamián, a researcher at the Faculty of Physiotherapy CES.

The project seeks to analyze the functional capacity of the upper limbs (shoulder girdle, arm, forearm and hand) of women with cancer and who consult at this IPS. Measurement is carried out using the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire, an instrument that measures quality of life related to the upper extremities.

In the application of the instrument, a survey is carried out and the information is transferred directly to a virtual form, clinical and sociodemographic characteristics are obtained, as well as information on daily activities involving the upper limbs. There is also a section on work, leisure and even sexual activity. Other additional information, related to histopathological characteristics of the tumor, is captured through medical records, with prior authorization from the participants and the health institution.

“We analyze this functional capacity according to the stage of the tumor, some clinical conditions to be able to compare and see what happens if the woman arrives at an early or late stage. We also explore whether other aspects such as the extent of the surgery or the fact of having had lymph node intervention or does not generate any changes in functional capacity ”, added the teacher.

The research arose from the scarcity of studies related to physical therapy in the treatment of women with cancer. It was approved in 2020 by the CES University Ethics Committee. Currently, progress is being made in the application of the instrument and it is expected that in the second half of 2021 the results will be published through scientific articles, participation in national / international scientific dissemination events, socialization with women who are breast cancer survivors, with the health institution in which the data was collected, among other channels.

"Physiotherapists through the intervention in human body movement seek that our mothers, sisters, aunts, friends and, in general, women can live the life we want and for this, studies like this are carried out, which allow us to have of scientific evidence to make the most appropriate physiotherapeutic approach and thus, our patients have the best possible quality of life ", concluded Verónica Tamayo Montoya, dean of the Faculty of Physiotherapy CES.

Teachers and students from the Faculty of Physiotherapy of the institution of higher education participated in the study with the support of the management of Meva Salud IPS.

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