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J Psychosom Res. 1982;26(2):277-83.

Emotional reactions to the diagnosis and treatment of early breast cancer.


Fourty-four patients with early breast cancer were interviewed before mastectomy and on three occasions during the following year about psychiatric symptomatology, and their emotional reactions to various aspects of the illness and its treatment. Eight patients developed symptoms of depressive illness. Thirty-five patients expressed emotional distress related to the diagnosis or the loss of the breast or both. All ten who had adjuvant chemotherapy considered this the most unpleasant aspect of treatment. Post-operative distress could often be predicted by a high score on the General Health Questionnaire, or a high level of expressed concern before the operation.

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