Breast cancer patient-reported outcome of factors influencing cosmetic satisfaction after breast-conserving therapy

A.T.P.M. Brands-Appeldoorn*, A.J.G. Maaskant-Braat, L. Janssen, L.A.D.M. van Osch, V.C.G. Tjan-Heijnen, R.M.H. Roumen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background The aim of this study was to investigate which factors patients considered to be important for determining the degree of cosmetic satisfaction with regards to perceived body image after previous breast-conserving therapy (BCT). Methods Outcomes considered relevant by the patients were first identified using interviews. A questionnaire based on this group input was then devised and added to the physician-based Sneeuw questionnaire. Next, a quantitative study using this questionnaire was conducted in Dutch patients treated at least 6 months earlier for (non-) invasive breast cancer by BCT. Exclusion criteria were: previous mastectomy or BCT of the contralateral breast, BCT with nipple resection, metastatic disease, local recurrence or (previous) plastic breast surgery. Descriptive statistics were used throughout. Results A total of 149 patients (aged 36-87 years) completed the questionnaire. From this focus group input, the top three factors in overall importance (important or very important) for satisfaction were: 'wearability of bra' (67%), 'breast sensitivity' (59%) and 'asymmetry' (51%). Younger patients (< 55 years) considered 'breast size' to be most important, whereas 'wearability of bra' was most frequently reported by older patients (> 55 years). Time since BCT did not significantly influence the rating of relevant factors. Conclusion Patients consider 'wearability of bra', 'breast sensitivity' and 'asymmetry' as the most important factors when assessing their satisfaction with regards to cosmetic outcome and body image. These factors should be addressed in routine clinical practice during (pre) counseling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-120
Number of pages7
JournalBreast Cancer
Issue number1
Early online date26 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Breast-conserving therapy
  • Breast cancer
  • Cosmetic outcome
  • Self-assessment
  • Body image

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