Background: According to European guidelines, breast cancer patients requiring mastectomy should be informed about available options regarding breast reconstruction. There are clear differences in the quality standards of oncoplastic care throughout Europe, with slight improvements in Central European countries like Hungary. The aim of the present investigation was to evaluate patients’ knowledge and demand for postmastectomy breast reconstruction, as well as their psychosocial background regarding decision-making.
Material/Methods: A questionnaire containing 15 structured questions was given to 500 breast cancer patients on the day before undergoing mastectomy. The questions focused on the emotional impact of the malignant disease and the loss of a breast; the importance of environmental conditions; the desire for breast reconstruction; and patients’ knowledge and sources of information about the procedure. All answers were statistically analyzed in the context of patient age, marital status, educational level, and place of residence.
Results: Descriptive statistical results of the answers to all questions, as well as associations of the different aspects of the decision-making process, are presented.
Conclusions: Hungarian breast cancer patients have very limited knowledge regarding breast reconstruction. We confirmed that patients scheduled for mastectomy have a great degree of anxiety due to their disease and breast loss. Almost 50% of the responders declared their desire for postmastectomy breast reconstruction. Patient’s age, residence, educational level, marital status, and profession were confirmed as predictive factors in the decision-making process for breast reconstruction.
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