Conference Proceeding

Perception of Prophylactic Mastectomy among Breast Cancer Patients and Their Relatives, Saudi Arabia

Ms. Doaa Alayed,
College of Medicine of Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women worldwide with the second highest mortality rates among all cancers.

Ms. Doaa Alayed, a medical intern from College of Medicine of Qassim University (M.B.B.S.), Saudi Arabia. She has just graduated with an excellent GPA and first class honor. Currently doing clinical rotations in a variety of hospitals within the central region of the kingdom including KFSH-RC and KFNCCC in Riyadh.

Introduction: Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women worldwide with the second highest mortality rates among all cancers. Various risk factors might lead to developing breast cancer one of which is mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Individuals with these mutations can be identified by genetic testing which gives them the chance to undergo prevention methods. This study is aimed to explore awareness and attitude of breast cancer patients and their relatives towards genetic testing and subsequent possible prophylactic mastectomy (PM).
Methods: This is an observational cross-sectional study of breast cancer patient and their relatives visiting outpatient clinics of the oncology department at King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh. It is based on self-administered questionnaire which covers demographic data, general characteristics of the respondent, general awareness of prophylactic mastectomy, attitudes toward prophylactic mastectomy, reasons for refusing and accepting to undergo prophylactic mastectomy.
Results: A total of 110 participants agreed to participate in this study. 54.5% of respondents had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and 65% of them underwent breast surgery for treatment. Most of the participants have never heard of genetic testing, PM, effectiveness, and complication of PM . Half of participants had negative attitude towards PM .Most respondents had obtained their information from mass media followed by hospital service. Differences were noted in awareness (P=0.001) and attitude (P=0.002) towards PM between different educational levels .Women with high school degree or less tend to be less aware by 1.870 (P=0.039). Young women tend to report positive attitude towards PM (P=0.001).
Discussion and conclusion: The study showed that the general knowledge of hereditary breast cancer as well as the methods of breast cancer screening among study population is relatively poor. Only half of them knew about Prophylactic Mastectomy (PM) and the majority has never heard of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing. Despite of that, most of them are willing to consider PM and genetic testing if needed. Risk reduction of future breast cancer ranked first as the main reason for accepting PM followed by doctor recommendation, quality of life improvement and availability of surgical reconstruction, respectively. On the other hand, refusing PM most importantly was deemed to incomplete prevention followed by surgical hazards. Moreover, we noticed that as awareness increases attitude becomes more favorable. Positive correlation was seen between age and attitude, in which as the age increases the respondents tend to have negative attitude. In conclusion this study showed that the awareness towards PM is relatively poor. However, it tends to be higher compared to the results of similar studies done in other areas. Although the study tackled some of the relevant factors that might play a role in the perception of PM, further studies in this particular field are warranted.

Published: 11 May 2017