ASBS: Women Content With Mastectomy Decision

20 years after surgery, vast majority of women would undergo prophylactic mastectomy again

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) remain satisfied with their decision 20 years after surgery, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, held from April 27 to May 1 in Washington, D.C.

Judy C. Boughey, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues evaluated the long-term contentment of women who underwent CPM between 1960 and 1993. A total of 583 women responded to an initial survey, an average of 10.3 years after CPM, and 269 women responded to a second survey, an average 20.1 years after CPM. Women's current satisfaction with their decision, whether they would make the same choice again, and any adverse effects they experienced were assessed.

The investigators found that most women were satisfied with their decision in the survey and in the follow-up survey (90 and 86 percent, respectively). The proportion of women who reported neutral feelings or dissatisfaction was similar in the initial and follow-up surveys, with a nonsignificant decrease in the follow-up survey. Similarly, the percentage of women who said they would choose to undergo CPM again was similar in both surveys (95 percent in the initial survey and 97 percent in the follow-up survey). The most commonly reported adverse effects were not significantly different at the two surveys and included body appearance, sense of femininity, and sexual relationships.

"There is remarkable stability of satisfaction with the decision to undergo CPM over 20 years after surgery. Adverse psychosocial effects do not increase over time," the authors write.

Press Release/Abstract No. 1693
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