Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Women with breast cancer who choose preventive mastectomies

20.03.2006


Most women with cancer in one breast who decide to have the unaffected breast removed along with the diseased breast don’t regret the decision and have a quality of life equal to patients who didn’t have a preventive mastectomy, according to a survey of breast cancer survivors.



"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 depression, body image issues and feeling the need to avoid thoughts about breast cancer.

The survey results also revealed that while concerns about breast cancer were common among all the women, they were less common in women who had the preventive mastectomy. Nearly 75 percent of women who didn’t have the preventive mastectomy reported concerns about breast cancer, compared to half of women who had the mastectomy.

Women with cancer in one breast have a three to five times higher risk of developing cancer in the other breast than women without breast cancer, and the risk may be higher in women with a family history of breast cancer.

Several studies have shown that preventive removal of the unaffected breast reduces the risk of cancer and may improve survival. In an earlier study involving this same group of patients, the researchers found that women who had the mastectomy had a 97 percent lower risk of developing cancer in both breasts than women who had only the affected breast removed. (Since it is impossible to remove 100 percent of the breast tissue, even after a mastectomy, there is a small risk of cancer developing.)

However, until the current study, there was little information on the psychological and social outcomes of the mastectomy.

"Our research suggests that preventive mastectomy prevents future breast cancer and that women’s psychosocial outcomes are driven more strongly by issues related to aging and surviving breast cancer than by their preventive mastectomy," said Geiger. "Nevertheless, it is important to remember that preventive mastectomy is a major surgical procedure likely appropriate for a very small percentage of women with breast cancer. We encourage women with breast cancer to carefully consider their treatment options in consultation with their physicians, family and friends."

Co-researchers were Larissa Nekhlyudov, M.D., and Suzanne Fletcher, M.D., of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Lisa Herrinton, Ph.D., and Andrea Altschuler, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Sharon Rolnick, Ph.D., of HealthPartners Research Foundation, Emily Harris, Ph.D., of Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Sarah Greene, M.P.H., of Group Health Cooperative, Joann Elmore, M.D., of the University of Washington, Karen Emmons, Ph.D., of Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Carmen West, M.S., and Amy Liu, M.S., of Kaiser Permanente Southern California. West is now with the University of Southern California.

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>