Breast cancer is the most frequent malignancy in women. The diagnosis of neoplastic disease produces or deepens anxiety and depression in a patient.
<bold>The aim of the study</bold> was to assess the influence of surgery and socio-demographic factors on the level of anxiety and depression in women suffering from breast cancer.
<bold>Material and methods.</bold> 50 women (30-71 years old, mean age 54.7 years) with breast cancer were enrolled into the study. They were assessed two times - before and after surgery. To evaluate the level of depression BECK scale was used. It consists of 21 points that determine the level of depression. HAD scale containing seven descriptions of a patient's status was used to assess the level of anxiety.
<bold>Results.</bold> Most of patients (17(34%) women had vocational education. More than half of the analyzed women were free of depression both before and after surgery, 50 % and 60% respectively. 2% of all women had extremely deep depression preoperatively. A normal and high level of anxiety before surgery was felt by 21 (42%) and 21 (42%) women respectively.
A high level of anxiety was found in 15 patients (30%) postoperatively. The level of depression after surgery decreased in 32 women and psychological status was deteriorated in 9 patients according to BECK scale. The level of anxiety after surgery decreased in 30 patients and deteriorated in 8 cases according to HAD scale. The intensity of anxiety decreased after surgical treatment. The most intensive increase in depression was observed in women with secondary education (51 points) before surgery and 35 points in women with vocational education after surgery. The highest level of anxiety before surgical treatment was found in women with secondary as well as vocational education (21 points). Whereas the highest level of anxiety after surgery was observed in patients with secondary education. (21 points). The hardest depression was observed in working patients (51 points) preoperatively and they still had the hardest depression (35 points) postoperatively, too. The level of anxiety was highest in working women both preoperatively and postoperatively (21 points). The most intensive depression before surgery was observed in women at middle social status (35 points) and this tendency was observed also after surgery. The level of anxiety before surgery was the highest in women with good and middle social status (21 points). After surgery it was the highest in patients with middle social status (21 points). The most intensive depression before surgical treatment was found in patients between 51 and 60 years old (51 points). The hardest depression after surgery was observed in women between 41 and 50 years old (35 points). The highest level of anxiety was felt by patients between 41 and 50 and between 51 and 60 years old (21 points) preoperatively and in women between 51 and 60 years old (21 points) postoperatively.
<bold>Conclusions.</bold> The intensity of depression and anxiety in women with breast cancer decreased significantly after mastectomy. Patients with university education had lower levels of anxiety and depression both before and after surgery. Working women with average social status had the highest levels of anxiety and depression both before and after surgical treatment. The age of a patient did not influence significantly on the levels of anxiety and depression both before and after surgery.
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”.