This descriptive, cross-sectional and quantitative study presents an analysis of knowledge acquired by mastectomized women concerning breast cancer after reading an educational handbook. The sample was composed of 125 women. Data were collected in a specialized cancer facility in three phases: preparatory, operational I and operational II. As to the knowledge acquired, the posttest showed an 11% increase in the number of correct answers compared to the pretest. The most frequent correct answer regarded a question asking the name of the surgery (97.60%) while the question concerning breast reconstruction obtained the lowest number of correct answers (58.40%). Answers to all the questions significantly improved in the posttest, with the exception of a question addressing breast reconstruction (p=0.754). The assessment of knowledge showed positive results after reading, suggesting that cognition is essential to understanding and adhering to guidance, thus the handbook is a favorable resource to be used in the rehabilitation of mastectomized women.