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Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology

Understanding Women’s Choice of Mastectomy Versus Breast Conserving Therapy in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

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Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology 2017:11 1179554917691266

Original Research

Published on 23 Feb 2017

DOI: 10.1177/1179554917691266


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Abstract

Objective:

To identify factors that influence Saskatchewan women’s choice between breast conserving therapy (BCT) and mastectomy in early-stage breast cancer (ESBC) and to compare and contrast underlying reasons behind choice of BCT versus mastectomy.

Methods:

Interpretive description methods guided this practice-based qualitative study. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis and presented in thematic maps.

Results:

Women who chose mastectomy described 1 of the 3 main themes: worry about cancer recurrence, perceived consequences of BCT treatment, or breast-tumor size perception. In contrast, women chose BCT because of 3 different themes: mastectomy being too radical, surgeon influence, and feminine identity.

Conclusions:

Although individual reasons for choosing mastectomy versus BCT have been discussed in the literature before, different rationale underlying each choice has not been previously described. These results are novel in identifying interdependent subthemes and secondary reasons for each choice. This is important for increased understanding of factors influencing a complicated decision-making process.



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