Preserving shoulder function in breast cancer patients
After a prophylactic double mastectomy in 2015, Tina Harrison discovered that she did, indeed, have breast cancer–it just hadn’t been detected.
Harrison, of Pinckney, MI, correctly predicted the cancer–it ran in her family–but she didn’t anticipate her ongoing pain and loss of shoulder function after reconstructive surgery.
Harrison isn’t alone, said David Lipps, assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology and director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Imaging Laboratory. His lab works to understand the best treatment options for women undergoing breast reconstruction after mastectomy.
To that end, Lipps and his team examined three different types of reconstructive surgeries to determine how each influenced long-term shoulder function in breast cancer survivors.