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Partner relationships after mastectomy in women not offered breast reconstruction.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
The present study assessed the degree to which undergoing a mastectomy without reconstructive surgery negatively impacts the patient's psychological state. We focus on body image and self-esteem as well as the influence of mastectomy on patient sex lives and partnership relations.
METHODS
The participants were 60 women, either married or in a relationship, who had had a mastectomy because of breast cancer and no subsequent reconstructive surgery. A marital happiness questionnaire was used to evaluate the research problem.
RESULTS
Surgery negatively impacted partnership relations for 33% of participants. In particular, 31% reported deterioration in attractiveness; 31%, a feeling of malaise; and 30%, that their partners perceived them as less attractive. Moreover, 80% in the youngest group reported that they covered their body during intimate contact, whereas 58% in the oldest age group reported the same behaviour. Deterioration in satisfaction with sex life and in the pleasure of sexual intercourse was indicated by 71% and 77%, respectively. Correspondingly, 71% also noticed a decrease in sexual activity, with 76% of participants aged 50-65 years reporting such a decline. The oldest women were also less satisfied with their sexual intercourse.
CONCLUSIONS
Breast excision due to cancer negatively impacted the quality of sexual life for 71% of participants. Partnership relations after surgery remained unchanged for 67% of them. There was significant impact of surgery on the perception of one's own body.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Andrzejczak E, Markocka-Mączka K, Lewandowski A

    Source

    Psycho-oncology 22:7 2013 Jul pg 1653-7

    MeSH

    Adult
    Aged
    Body Image
    Breast Neoplasms
    Female
    Follow-Up Studies
    Humans
    Interpersonal Relations
    Male
    Mastectomy
    Middle Aged
    Patient Satisfaction
    Quality of Life
    Questionnaires
    Self Concept
    Sexual Behavior
    Sexual Partners

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    23045167