Breast reconstruction changes: coping mechanisms in breast cancer survivors (2015)

Type of publication:
Oral presentation

*Blossom Lake, *Heidi Fuller, *Sarah Rastall, *Tamoor Usman

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, December 2015

Background: Breast cancer is the commonest malignancy in women. Survivorship care for breast cancer patients needs to be individualised. A key component is recognition that coping mechanisms can be changed by treatment. The aims of this study were to see how women who have had immediate breast reconstruction and mastectomy, compared to those who have mastectomy alone cope and if there were significant differences in coping styles.

Methods: A cohort study using a standardised questionnaire the Brief Cope Scale. Inclusion criteria: all women who had had immediate breast reconstruction and mastectomy in Shropshire from 2003 to 2014 for node negative ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive breast cancer. Each index patient was matched for year of diagnosis, adjuvant therapy and age to one woman who had mastectomy alone.

Results: Questionnaires were sent to 234 patients, with a 58% response rate. Significantly more patients from the reconstruction cohort coped by active coping (T value 1.66, P value 0.04). Significantly less patients coped by active venting in the reconstruction cohort (T value 1.71, P value 0.04).

Conclusion: Breast reconstruction changes coping styles of breast cancer patients, understanding this allows clinicians to individualise survivorship care.