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Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2015 Sep;37(9):397-401. doi: 10.1590/SO100-720320150005353.

[Frequency and associated factors of phantom breast syndrome in women submitted to mastectomy for breast cancer].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Hospital do Câncer III, Instituto Nacional de Câncer José Alencar Gomes da Silva, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, BR.



To evaluate the frequency and risk factors for the development of phantom breast syndrome in patients submitted to mastectomy after breast cancer treatment.


A cohort study of women undergoing treatment at the Hospital of Cancer III, National Cancer Institute José Alencar Gomes da Silva (INCA) from September 2008 to June 2009. PBS was considered based on report of phantom breast sensation and/or phantom breast pain. The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the INCA (015/08). Descriptive analysis using absolute and relative frequency was performed. To evaluate the association between PBS and potential risk factors, univariate analysis was performed by means of odds ratios (OR) with respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI).


A total of 88 patients were included. The frequency of PBS observed was 44.3 at 45 days (first follow-up) and 18.2% at 2 years (last follow-up). Most women reported phantom breast syndrome in all segments (37.1; 30.1 and 22%). During the six month follow-up, women under the age of 60 years had a 3.93 times higher risk of PBS (OR=3.9; 95%CI 1.4-10.5) and those with higher education (8 years or more of study) had a higher risk of developing PBS (OR=2.6; 95%CI 1.01-6.8).


The study population had a high frequency of PBS, which decreased over postoperative follow-up. Its occurrence after six months was higher among younger and more educated women.

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