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A comparative study of post-operative psychosocial function in women with primary operable breast cancer randomized to breast conservation therapy or mastectomy

Authors
Journal
European Journal of Surgical Oncology (EJSO)
0748-7983
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0748-7983(97)90804-0
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

In a randomized patient series of 184 women suffering from primary operable breast carcinoma, psychosocial adjustment to breast-conserving therapy (BCT) vs mastectomy (M) was analysed retrospectively, including: (i) a comparison of intergroup characteristics; (ii) patient experience of the quality of professional pre-operative information; and (iii) the extent to which influence on choice of treatment was required. Using LASA (Linear Analogue Self-Assessment Scale), STA1 (State—Trait Anxiety Inventory), and a semi-structured interview, no psychosocial benefits were found in BCT compared with M. Mean observation time was 31 months (range: 15–65). Body image was less impaired in BCT than in M. Both groups scored highly on professional information, but reported reduced ability to take in such information in the peri-operative period. Both groups tended to depend on the surgeon when choosing between surgical options. Irrespective of primary therapy, women must still confront the fact that they have had cancer, a life-threatening disease which may recur. A need for further research into peri-operative information procedures was demonstrated, and some suggestions were derived concerning the surgeon's role in deciding on surgical options.

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