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 Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biosensor allows real-time oxygen monitoring for 'organs-on-a-chip'

21.08.2018 | Medical Engineering

Researchers discover link between magnetic field strength and temperature

21.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

IHP technology ready for space flights

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>