Body image problems in women with and without breast cancer 6-20 years after bilateral risk-reducing surgery – A prospective follow-up study.

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Body image problems in women with and without breast cancer 6-20 years after bilateral risk-reducing surgery - A prospective follow-up study.

Breast. 2019 Feb 01;44:120-127

Authors: Bai L, Arver B, Johansson H, Sandelin K, Wickman M, Brandberg Y

Abstract
PURPOSE: To prospectively follow-up and investigate women's perceptions of the cosmetic outcome of their implant-based breast reconstruction, body image, sexuality, anxiety/depressive symptoms, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) 6-20 years after bilateral risk-reducing mastectomy (RRM), or complementary RRM after breast cancer diagnosis, due to increased risk of hereditary breast cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Women with and without previous breast cancer diagnosis that underwent RRM between March 1997 and September 2010 were invited (n = 200). We compared 146 (73%) sets of long-term questionnaire responses (e.g., EORTC QLQ-BRR26, Body Image Scale, Sexuality Activity Questionnaire, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and SF-36) with responses one year after surgery. Women with and without previous breast cancer were compared at the long-term assessment point.
RESULTS: The HRQoL and anxiety/depressive symptoms remained unchanged compared with one year after surgery, and there were no between-group differences. The negative impact on body image persisted in both groups for most of the items. 'Sexual discomfort' increased significantly for women with previous breast cancer (p = 0.016). Women with previous breast cancer also reported more problems with 'Disease treatment/surgery related symptoms' (p = 0.006) and 'Sexuality' (p = 0.031) in the EORTC QLQ-BRR26 questionnaire.
CONCLUSION: Problems with body image appeared to persist long time post-RRM. No differences in HRQoL were found at the long-term follow-up between women with and without previous breast cancer. The results of this investigation might be of use in improving future counselling before risk-reducing surgery for women in the decision-making process.

PMID: 30743225 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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