Angelica Lang, a PhD candidate in the Department of Health Sciences is researching upper-limb problems caused by mastectomies used to treat breast cancer.
Her team wants to know how those changes affect a woman's ability to do physical tasks such as return to work, perform household responsibilities or care for their children. "We're trying to measure that motion and to find if there are differences, and that will highlight if there is anything important there that could be translated to doctors and physios," said Lang.
This research will help each breast cancer survivor regain her function as quick as possible, and guide treatment to prevent any future injury. Lang said mastectomies and lymph node dissections are intensive surgeries that can damage nerves and injure chest muscles. Radiation treatment is also known to affect muscles at a cellular level, she said.
Lang and the other researchers are hoping to recruit women, between the ages of 35 and 65 who have had a mastectomy at least six months ago, to participate in the study. They will be asking the women to take part in one session in which they will need to wear motion-capture equipment while performing upper limb-focused tasks. The researchers will be tracking their movements and muscle activity. Anyone who wants to participate in the study can email email@example.com or call 306-371-9676.