The Disease Burden of Mastectomy: Turkish Perspective and Impact on the Patient and Family

  • S. Özkan
  • M. Özkan
  • V. Özmen
  • Z. Armay
Reference work entry


Carcinoma of the breast is the most common site-specific cancer and is the leading cause of death from cancer in women with an estimated 1.15 million cases diagnosed in 2002. Breast cancer incidence and prevalence rates in Western Turkey in 1992 were 24.4/1000,000 and 0.3% respectively. Breast cancer incidence has increased in Turkey, and more than 15,000 new breast cancer cases were diagnosed in 2007. Breast cancer incidence and mortality show differences in different regions of Turkey depending on breast health awareness, diagnostic and therapeutic facilities, and other social, cultural and economic factors. The most common surgical treatment of breast cancer in Turkey is  modified radical mastectomy, which involves removal of the breast, pectoral muscles, and maxillary  lymph nodes. With its increasing prevalence and advanced stage at diagnosis, breast cancer treatment results in significant financial, social, psychological and psychosocial burden on the patients, families and the society. Burden of treatment of especially advanced breast cancer are tremendous, these are, morbidity, mortality, treatment expenses (hospitalization, outpatient care, and physician services, loss of productivity, surgical-systemic-radiation therapies, and psychological disorders of patients and their families). Intangible or psychosocial costs are pain and suffering from disease and its treatment that affect health and well being not reflected in the categories of direct or productivity costs. It is not possible to understand the breast cancer and  mastectomy experience independent from the specific culture. The Turkish history, culture, related values and traditions shape the experience of Turkish breast cancer patients. The burden of mastectomy duplicates when a thorough analysis is conducted with its various components that also greatly affect psychologically such as the reality of cancer, experiencing a surgery, and organ loss. This chapter aims to review the current Turkish literature on the various aspects of burden of breast cancer and mastectomy in comparison to the Western literature. The review clearly documents that an interdisciplinary approach that combines oncologic and psychiatric treatments is required for decreasing the burden of mastectomy.


Breast Cancer Body Image Breast Reconstruction Breast Cancer Incidence Clinical Breast Examination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


age standardized rates


breast conservation surgery


breast health awareness


body mass index


clinical breast examination


disability adjusted life years


modified  radical mastectomy


sentinel lymph node biopsy


trans-rectus abdominis muscle


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Özkan
    • 1
  • M. Özkan
    • 1
  • V. Özmen
    • 1
  • Z. Armay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Consultation Liaison PsychiatryUniversity of IstanbulÇapaTurkey

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