Breast Reconstruction Awareness Among Turkish University Students: A Cross-Sectional Study
AuthorAbbas, Ozan Luay
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Aim: Because advances in breast cancer treatment methods have resulted in dramatic increases in survival rates, the consequences of mastectomy on physical and psychological well-being of breast cancer patients have gained in importance. In this context, breast reconstruction is a viable option nowadays. However, public awareness is a prerequisite for the utilization of this option. This study has attempted to assess awareness among Turkish female university students about breast reconstruction. Material and Method: The participants of this cross-sectional study were Turkish female university students. We evaluated awareness of breast cancer and reconstruction using a set of questionnaires designed for the study. Results: 462 students with an average age of 20.5 agreed to participate in the study. High knowledge rates of warning signs, detection methods, and treatment options for breast cancer were observed. However, only 35.9% of the participants were aware of the possibility of breast reconstruction. Of this group, mass media was identified as the major source of information. While implant-based reconstruction was familiar for 74.1% of participants who were aware of breast reconstruction, only 31.3% knew about autologous reconstructions. One third of these participants knew that reconstructive surgeries are covered by health insurance. 62.6% of these participants stated that breast reconstruction is important for the well-being of cancer patients. Discussion: In comparison with participants' high knowledge of breast cancer, the level of awareness about breast reconstruction can be considered relatively low. This imperfect knowledge is among the main reasons behind low rates of reconstruction. Therefore, all efforts should be made to disseminate awareness of breast reconstruction.