Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 243–253 | Cite as

Rehabilitation needs and breast cancer: The first month after primary therapy

  • Patricia A. Ganz
  • Cyndie Coscarelli Schag
  • Margaret L. Polinsky
  • Richard L. Heinrich
  • Virginia F. Flack


Breast cancer is the most common neoplasm in occidental women, yet very little information is available about the rehabilitation needs of these patients. This report reviews in detail the physical, psychological, social, and financial problems identified by fifty women during the first month after primary surgical treatment. The most frequently reported problems were physical and psychological. Patients undergoing modified radical mastectomy (MRM) are compared with patients receiving segmental mastectomy and primary radiotherapy (SM). There were few differences between the two surgical treatment groups; however, patients in the MRM group reported more difficulty with clothing and body image, while the SM group had more disruption of recreation and social activities. Information about the rehabilitation problems of patients with this common neoplasm should be helpful to patients and to the members of the health care team who are helping them recover.

Key words

breast cancer conservative treatment mastectomy physical problems psychosocial outcome rehabilitation 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia A. Ganz
    • 1
  • Cyndie Coscarelli Schag
    • 2
  • Margaret L. Polinsky
    • 3
  • Richard L. Heinrich
    • 2
  • Virginia F. Flack
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, UCLA-San Fernando Valley Program, VAMC, SepulvedaCA and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLALos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Behavioral Rehabilitation Research Laboratory, VAMC, Sepulveda, CA and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral SciencesUCLALos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUCLALos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Division of BiostatisticsSchool of Public Health, UCLALos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.BASE Unit, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer CenterUCLALos AngelesUSA

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