Breast cancer is the most common malignancy occurring in women. The treatment of breast cancer is a complex, multistep process involving surgical treatment, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, and very often rehabilitation. After the treatment of the underlying disease, or still in its course, there remains a problem of deformation of the chest. Although the number of women opting for breast reconstructive surgery increases every year, the number of such procedures in Poland is low.
<bold>The aim of the study</bold> was to investigate the reasons why women after amputation of the breast due to cancer are not likely to undergo breast reconstructive surgery.
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> The study comprised 73 women, residents of the province of Silesia, aged between 37 and 79 years, who had undergone mastectomy for malignancy in the years 1987-2013.
<bold>Results.</bold> From all of the reasons given by women for refraining from breast reconstruction, the most frequently pointed was the fear of being subjected to further surgery (38.3%). 23 women (31.5%) admitted that they were also afraid of postoperative pain. Similarly, a common response (35.6%) was that it is not essential for their mental state, and 30% of respondents fully accepted their appearance after mastectomy. Concern about the effect of failed reconstruction was reported by 24.6% of the women, and the fear that the surgery could negatively affect the process of cancer treatment by 27.4% of respondents. Lack of information about the capabilities and knowledge of breast reconstruction methods was not an important factor in decision-making.
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> Most of the surveyed women who abandon breast reconstruction surgery, make this decision on the basis of more than one reasons. Fear of undergoing a second surgical procedure and pain related to it were the most important reasons for the refusal of breast reconstruction. An important factor in the decision to desist from breast reconstruction is the age of the patients.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.