Background: Coping with the effects of cancer treatment is challenging. Among the post-treatment effects is an altered appearance that may impact the patient's Quality of life (QoL) negatively. Therefore, a better understanding of this issue is imperative to address it in an evidence-based framework. This study aimed to assess the impact of breast cancer treatments on body image and QoL in breast cancer patients from Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: 210 female patients were surveyed at King Abdulaziz University Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, between November 2017 and June 2018. Subjects were considered eligible to participate if they were 18 years of age or older, had a histologically confirmed diagnosis of breast cancer, no evidence of recurrence or metastasis, and had no psychological problems at the time of the survey. European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLC-C30 and BR23 questionnaires were used to measure body image perception and QoL.
Results: Among the participants, 60.0% underwent mastectomy with or without LN resection, 15.7% underwent a lumpectomy, and 24.3% did not undergo surgery. Eighty-one percent of the patients received chemotherapy before the intervention. The functional scales (C30 and BR23) showed no statistically significant differences between mastectomy and lumpectomy patients. The highest side effect score was observed with chemotherapy (60.64 ± 17.21), while the lowest with hormonal therapy (46.50 ± 19.46). Significantly more married patients had sleep disturbance versus unmarried (p = 0.039). Employed patients were more worried about their future perspectives.
Conclusions: The study concludes that the body image was not affected by whether the patient had breast surgery or not, neither by the type of surgery. Furthermore, chemotherapy caused the highest side effect score.
Key words: Breast cancer; quality of life; chemotherapy; lumpectomy; mastectomy