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Zentralbl Gynakol. 1997;119(4):149-53.

[Quality of life in relation to patient education regarding surgical procedures in primary breast carcinoma].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Frauenklinik der Universität Rostock.


Breast conserving therapy is seen as a profit according to life quality. The patients have been subjected to the surgeon suggestions during decision-making about the primary therapy. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the degree of preoperative information of breast cancer therapy and patients' choices of treatments in cases suited for breast conserving therapy. 138 recurrence free patients after breast conserving therapy (BCT) or mastectomies (ME) due to a breast cancer staged as pT1-2N0-1M0 and missing contraindication to BCT were interviewed using an observer checklist. The degrees of preoperative information, reasons for decision to mastectomy, though BCT was possible, were correlated with the postoperative life quality. Patients decided for BCT were averaging 56.0 + 12.3 years and significantly (p < 0.05) younger than patients decided for ME (60.4 + 10.5), whereas tumor size, nodal status and adjuvant therapies were comparable. The results indicate, that subjects' choice of treatment was unrelated to the amount of information. 87% (BET) respectively 78.3% (ME) patients evaluated, that preoperative information was enough (p = 0.19). The most frequent reasons for preference of mastectomy were the "perception that survival would be diminished if mastectomy was not done" (93.5%), "avoidance of radiotherapy" (60.9%) and "no partner" (34.8%). According to expectation the body image in the BCT-group (84.8%) was significantly (p = 0.0007) more positive than in the ME-group (58.9%). Nevertheless only 5 (10.9%) patients after ME have felt sorry for their earlier decision. There were no significant differences between the two groups with regard to partner- and sexual adjustment as well as physical well-being. Despite being fully informed of treatment possibilities and no medical contraindications to BCT nearly one third preferred mastectomy due to different reasons. When the patient was involved in the clinical decision-making process the mastectomy indicates not generally a loss of life quality, though nearly 40% are dissatisfied with their nude body image.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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