Aesthetic And Emotional Uncertainty With Breast-Conserving Surgery

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Aesthetic And Emotional Uncertainty With Breast-Conserving Surgery featured image

When a woman with breast cancer opts for a mastectomy, doctors typically go into great detail about what the patient can expect. However, women who choose breast-conserving surgery are, on average, not receiving extensive information about possible results, and many are left dissatisfied.

University of Michigan researchers found that a third of breast-cancer patients who underwent breast-conserving surgery, where just the tumor and some surrounding tissue are removed instead of the entire breast (a mastectomy), are deeply disappointed about the asymmetry. In fact, some show symptoms of depression and are even more likely to fear that their cancer will return.

“It’s important for women to think about all of those issues at the time that they’re making their surgical decision,” researcher and surgeon Dr. Jennifer Waljee told the press, “and realize that although breast-conserving surgery may or may not be less disfiguring than mastectomy, they’re likely to experience some asymmetry afterwards that may impact their quality of life.”

Have you faced this difficult decision? Do you wish you had more information about your options? Share your experience by leaving a comment below.

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