Complications from breast cancer treatment should be treated sooner, says UM-Flint researcher

The research could save $2,500 per patient on medical costs.

A University of Michigan researcher has concluded 11 years of study on breast cancer complications. Cindy Pfizer is an associate director of research in U of M Flint's physical therapy department. The study, which she began in 2001 while in Washington is in conjunction with researchers at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.

They say in their conclusion they found that early diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer-related complications such as lymphedema, can reduce costs by as much as $2,500 per patient as well as the need for intensive rehabilitation.

The research team developed a model for surveillance of complications that result from the treatment of breast cancer, so they can be identified and treated before the patient begins to notice problems. The other primary investigator in the study was Ellen Levy, a researcher from the National Institutes of Health. Pfalzer continues to aid in data analysis, database updating and manuscript generation while at her position at UM-Flint.