, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 598-602

The psychological and cosmetic aspects of breast conserving therapy compared with radical mastectomy

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Abstract

An evaluation of the psychological and cosmetic morbidity of 31 patients who had undergone breast conserving treatment (BCT group) and 71 patients who had undergone radical mastectomy (RM group) revealed that 85% and 73%, respectively, were satisfied with their operative results. BCT appeared superior to RM in relation to body image, with 93% of the BCT group indicating BCT as a future choice of treatment, whereas only 35% of the RM group indicated RM as a future choice of treatment. For 59% of the BCT patients, the results were considered excellent or good by a physician, but fear of recurrence was frequently expressed by both groups even though an early stage of breast cancer had been significantly more common in the BCT group than the RM group. Sexual adjustment was the same in both groups. Body image was thus concluded to have been improved by BCT rather than RM, but psychological morbidity was essentially the same in both groups.

Recipient of a fellowship from the Japanese-Germany Center, Berlin, Germany