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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2000 Aug;68(4):697-709.

Breast cancer surgery: comparing surgical groups and determining individual differences in postoperative sexuality and body change stress.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1222, USA.


Women diagnosed and surgically treated for regional breast cancer (N = 190) were studied to determine the sexual and body change sequelae for women receiving modified radical mastectomy (MRM) with breast reconstruction in comparison with the sequelae for women receiving breast-conserving therapy (BCT) or MRM without breast reconstruction. The sexuality pattern for women receiving reconstructive surgery was one that was significantly different--with lower rates of activity and fewer signs of sexual responsiveness--than that for women in either of the other groups. Significantly higher levels of traumatic stress and situational distress regarding the breast changes were reported by the women receiving an MRM in contrast to the women treated with BCT. Using a model to predict sexual morbidity, regression analyses revealed that individual differences in sexual self-schema were related to both sexual and body change stress outcomes.

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