Integral Health Brazil


Short-term changes in handgrip strength, body composition, and lymphedema induced by breast cancer surgery.

Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2014 Jun;36(6):244-50.

Short-term changes in handgrip strengthbody composition, and lymphedema induced by breastcancer surgery.

Gomes PR1, Freitas Junior IF2, da Silva CB3, Gomes IC4, Rocha AP5, Salgado AS6, do Carmo EM5.

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This study investigated short-term changes in body composition, handgrip strength, and presence of lymphedema in women who underwent breast cancer surgery.


Ninety-five women participated in a cross-sectional study, divided into two groups: Control (n=46), with healthy women, and Experimental (n=49), with women six months after breast cancer surgery. The Experimental Group was subdivided into right total mastectomy (RTM, n=15), left total mastectomy (LTM, n=11), right quadrant (RQ, n=13), and left quadrant (LQ, n=10). It was also redistributed among women with presence (n=10) or absence (n=39) of lymphedema. Presence of lymphedema, handgrip strength, and bodycomposition were assessed.


Trunk lean mass and handgrip strength were decreased in the Experimental Group. Total lean mass was increased in the LTM compared to RTM or LQ. Left handgrip strength in LTM was decreased compared to RTM and RQ and in LQ compared to RTM and RQ. Finally, total lean mass, trunk fat mass, trunk lean mass, right and left arm lean mass were increased in women with lymphedema.


Breast cancer survivors have changes in their body composition and in handgrip strength six months after surgery; however, the interaction between the type of surgery and its impact is unclear. Furthermore, women who developed lymphedema in this period showed more significant changes in the body composition, but they were not enough to cause impairment in handgrip strength.

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