"A large majority of women were satisfied with their decisions to have the preventive mastectomy in addition to their primary breast cancer treatment," said Ann Geiger, Ph.D., lead author, from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "And women who had the preventive mastectomy were equally content with their quality of life as women who didn't."
The study is reported today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It was conducted by six health care systems that participate in the National Cancer Institute-funded Cancer Research Network, whose goal is to conduct research that transforms cancer care and prevention. Geiger was at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, one of the six study sites, when the research was conducted.
The survey, which took about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, was designed to measure contentment with quality of life, body image, sexual satisfaction, breast cancer concern, depression and health perception. It involved 519 women with cancer in one breast who chose to have preventive mastectomy in addition to regular cancer treatment and 61 breast cancer survivors who had only the affected breast treated. All women had been diagnosed from 1979 to 1999.
Results showed that a large majority of women (86.5 percent) who had the procedure were satisfied with their decision. The majority of all women (75 percent) reported "very much" or "quite a bit" of contentment with quality of life, regardless of whether or not they had undergone the preventive mastectomy.
While less contentment with quality of life was not associated with the preventive mastectomy, it was linked with poor general health perception, symptoms of de
Contact: Karen Richardson
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center