SAN DIEGO -- A third of breast cancer survivors who received the breast-conserving treatments lumpectomy and radiation rate the appearance of their post-treatment breast as only âfairâ or âpoorâ in comparison to their untreated breast, according to a new University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study that will be presented today at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in San Diego. In addition, one fifth of patients report complications including chronic pain in their breast or arm and loss of arm or shoulder flexibility following their treatment, the study authors found.
The findings, which are the first to examine patientsâ own impressions of the cosmetic appearance of their breast following treatment, contrast with previous studies in which clinicians were more likely to label post-treatment breasts as âgoodâ or âexcellentâ in appearance. The authors say that the findings shed light on how patientsâ treatment expectations may differ from their physiciansâ, and reveal a need for additional patient education about potential outcomes.
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