Survey on embarrassment of breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy

WCRJ 2020; 7: e1607
DOI: 10.32113/wcrj_20207_1607

  Topic: Cancer     Category:

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: When receiving postoperative radiation therapy for breast cancer, patients need to get undressed to prevent setup errors and to minimize the build-up of dose at the skin surface. However, removing clothes is a great mental burden for patients. The purpose of this study was to investigate the embarrassment of female patients undergoing adjuvant radiation therapy for breast cancer.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study involving questionnaire about feelings of embarrassment among patients (n = 150) with breast cancer receiving postoperative radiation therapy. The questionnaire consisted of two parts: Part I, the degree of resistance to exposing the upper body; and Part II, the desire to wear clothes under various circumstances.

RESULTS: For the question "What do you think about removing the clothes from your upper body?”, 39.0% answered "I want to wear clothes if possible" (A1), and 14% answered "I am embarrassed that I strongly desire to wear clothes" (A2). The proportion of women who answered A1 or A2 increased significantly with the involvement of male radiation therapists, whereas the proportion of women who answered A2 increased significantly with the absence of female therapists.

CONCLUSIONS: The participation of male therapists and the absence of female therapists were factors that made patients’ embarrassment worse.

To cite this article

Survey on embarrassment of breast cancer patients receiving radiation therapy

WCRJ 2020; 7: e1607
DOI: 10.32113/wcrj_20207_1607

Publication History

Submission date: 14 May 2020

Revised on: 01 Jun 2020

Accepted on: 15 Jun 2020

Published online: 14 Jul 2020