Mastectomy or conservation for early breast cancer: psychological morbidity.
Lee MS., Love SB., Mitchell JB., Parker EM., Rubens RD., Watson JP., Fentiman IS., Hayward JL.
A consecutive series of 197 women under 70 years of age with operable breast cancer, randomised to treatment by a conservation technique in comparison to mastectomy, were assessed using structured interviews. The prevalence of cases of anxiety and depression was high before treatment commenced, there were fewer cases in the conservation group but no significant difference at 3 or 12 months in the number of new cases, social adjustment, or capacity to return to work. Attitudes to treatment showed significant differences between the groups, more women in the conservation group were able to wear their usual clothes and most women rated the cosmetic result highly. Patients were more likely to stop sexual intercourse completely after mastectomy. An effective conservation technique should be an attractive treatment choice available to selected women with early breast cancer.