Dressing-up Practices of Post-mastectomy Women in the Philippines – A Project of ROJoson Medical Clinic – September 7, 2012

Dressing-up Practices of Post-mastectomy Women in the Philippines – A Project of ROJoson Medical Clinic – September 7, 2012

Dressing-up Practices of Post-mastectomy Women in the Philippines

Reynaldo O. Joson, MD, MHA, MHPEd, MSc Surg

Kristelle Maris N. Lao, MD

Jacqueline Ick-Joson, MD

Lilibeth Tumambeng

September 3, 2012; September 7, 2012

 

Situation:

A lot of female breast cancer patients (this includes Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike) in the Philippines have and are undergoing total mastectomy (total removal of the breast) ending up with no mound on the operated side.  They dress up to make their lost breasts not noticeable by the public or by another person.  [Note: there may be women who are not particular in the issue of dressing-up, i.e., they don’t hide the fact that they have lost their breast and therefore, mound on one side of their chest. {will include this in the study but good only for side comments as the study will focus on how concerned female patients dress up to hide their lost breast mound.}]

Dressing-up in post-total-mastectomy will be operationally defined as putting on any kind of  apparel or clothing that will make the lost breast mound not noticeable or undistracted to the public or to another person.

There are no published data at present on how female breast cancer patients in the Philippines dress up to make their lost breasts not noticeable or undistracted to the public or to another person.

With the absence of outcry in the Philippines, it seems that somehow, these female breast cancer patients found ways on how to dress up to cope with their needs.   However, what were the events and activities they went through to dress up, how they would dress up and what were their common issues, concerns and difficulty, both shortly and long after mastectomy, there is a need for the health care providers taking care of such types of patients to have data and information on these questions to be able to provide a holistic management.

In the light of the situation described above, we embarked on a project to study the dressing-up practices of post-total-mastectomy women in the Philippines. Hopefully, the information and data that would be obtained from this study will be helpful to both the post-mastectomy patients and the health care providers caring for these patients.

To the post-mastectomy patients, they will have ready information or tips on how to dress up shortly after or even before mastectomy.  This ready information will surely help in allaying fears of the side effects of total mastectomy thereby facilitating restoration of quality of life for these patients.

To the health care providers, they will now have ready information or reference to give to their patients on how to dress-up after a total mastectomy.  Another potential benefit from this study consists of the issues and concerns in dressing up that will be brought to the fore by these female breast cancer patients.  Knowing these issues and concerns, the heath care providers, particularly the surgeons, can now adjust the total mastectomy operations to tailor to the dressing-up needs of these patients.

Objectives of the Study:

  • To determine how post-total-mastectomy patients in the Philippines dress up to make their lost breasts not noticeable or undistracted to the public or to another person.
  • To determine the issues and concerns involved in the dressing up practices of post-total-mastectomy patients in the Philippines.
  • To provide information on how to facilitate the dressing-up practices of post-total-mastectomy patients in the Philippines.
  • To recommend solutions on how to resolve or reduce the issues and concerns involved in the dressing up practices of post-total-mastectomy patients in the Philippines.

Study Methodology:

Survey using questionnaire with interview, either face-to-face or through email.

Inclusion criteria for subjects for survey-interview:

  • Female breast cancer patients living in the Philippines who underwent total mastectomy, one-sided or two-sided
  • Who are willing to be interviewed, either face-to-face or through email

Number of respondents: at least 60

  • Below 40 years old at time of mastectomy: 20
  • 41 to 60 years old at time of mastectomy: 20
  • More than 60 years old at time of mastectomy: 20

Pictures may be taken with permission (apparel, bra, prosthesis on or outside the person’s chest, scars of mastectomy, etc.)

Individual information shall be kept confidential.

There will be group report.

* Will try to have respondents from different socioeconomic strata (private patients in MDH and patients in OMMC)

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