A recent study from the University of Toronto shows that women who have had breast cancer are nearly as satisfied with their quality of life a decade after treatment as those who have not had breast cancer. While there are a range of physical and emotional health issues brought on by breast cancer, this study shows that full recoveries are becoming more and more common.
According to Dr. Pamela Goodwin of the University of Toronto, in the short term it is well-known that breast cancer can cause a decrease in the quality of life for those affected, as patients often suffer from fatigue, pain, and nausea following chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. That is why Dr. Goodwin and her coauthors decided to survey 585 women about their quality of life at the time of diagnosis and the time shortly after. This data was collected from 1989 to 1996.
From 2005 to 2007, 285 of the women who were cancer survivors without any recurrence of the disease were then asked to come back and answer the same questions about appetite, general wellness, sleep, and pain. Their results were compared to those of women in the same age group that have not had breast cancer. Goodwin stated that the average quality of life for breast cancer patients after about a decade was very similar to what was reported by women with no history of the disease.
Breast Reconstructive Surgery
To further improve their quality of life and self-esteem, many women opt for breast reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy. Those who would be a good candidate for this procedure include women who do not have other medical conditions that could negatively impact the healing process, are able to cope with their treatment and diagnosis, and are optimistic about their body image after surgery.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Over 25 years ago, this initiative was created to educate those affected about their options, treatment plans, and the latest medical innovations. The organization’s website (nbcam.org) is a great source for information on the latest medical developments, awareness events, and patient resources.
If you have undergone a mastectomy and have been considering breast reconstruction surgery, contact Boulder Plastic Surgery at (303) 578-4193 for more information. Dr. Kuisle and Dr. Hartley are both certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and have 50 years of combined experience in the field.