NEW YORK, July 19 (Praxis Press) Prophylactic mastectomy is a preventive option for women who wish to reduce their risk of breast cancer but the psychological and social consequences of this procedure is unclear. To evaluate patients' long-term satisfaction and psychological and social function following prophylactic mastectomy, Frost and colleagues surveyed 572 women undergoing bilateral prophylactic mastectomy (see paper). The questionnaire was designed to evaluate satisfaction with the procedure and its effects on psychological and social function. Most women (70%) were satisfied with the procedure; 11% were neutral; and 19% were dissatisfied. Among the psychological and social variables, the most striking finding was that 74% reported a diminished level of emotional concern about developing breast cancer. Positive outcomes following prophylactic mastectomy include decreased emotional concern about developing breast cancer and generally favorable psychological and social outcomes.

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