Study explores women's concerns about breast reconstruction
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Undergoing a mastectomy is hard enough without having to think about what
comes next. However, when breast cancer survivors recover their health
sufficiently, many of them begin to consider the possibility of having a breast
A survey of such women recently appeared in the Journal of Breast Cancer. Its authors determined that while many
individuals express anxieties over the way their new breasts will look or what people might think of them, the most
commonly cited reason not to get the surgery was finances.
Nearly 60 percent of the respondents, all of whom were women who had undergone a mastectomy, said that the
primary reason they had not yet had a breast reconstruction was the cost of the surgery.
The next most common impediment was anxiety about physical complications, which 47 percent of women
Ultimately, even though the majority of respondents had early concerns about their physical appearance and the risk
of cancer recurrence, almost half decided that they would have a breast reconstruction in the near future.
Discussing the physical effects of a breast reconstruction is something women should do with their physician, who will
explain the constraints the surgery may initially put on range of motion and muscle use, according to the National
Chung IY et al. Survey of Psychosocial Problems Facing Breast Cancer Survivors after Undergoing a Mastectomy
and Their Awareness of Breast Reconstruction. J Breast Cancer. Feb 2011. 14(Suppl 1), S70-
S76. http://synapse.koreamed.org/DOIx.php?id=10.4048/jbc.2011.14.S.S70 Accessed May 12, 2011.
Preventive Mastectomy. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/preventivemastectomy
Accessed May 12, 2011.
Undergoing a mastectomy is hard enough without having to think about what comes next. However, when
breast cancer survivors recover their health sufficiently, many of them begin to consider the possibility of
having a breast reconstruction operation.
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