Background: There has been limited study on the barriers and perceptions of breast cancer patients for breast reconstruction as a continuum of their treatment within the sub-region.
Aim: To find out the barriers and perceptions that influence breast reconstruction after mastectomy in our sub-region.
Materials and methods: The researchers used questionnaires as the research instrument with oral interview. A qualitative study that recruited 29 participants who were drawn from Teaching hospital and Private Clinics was performed. They had undergone mastectomy and some breast cancer patients from Calabar between January, 2016 and December, 2019. The participants were women from the age of 28 to 60 years with a diagnosis of breast cancer planning for surgery or having undergone mastectomy. Participants discussed their experiences with breast cancer and accessing breast reconstruction.
Results: After data collection, it was analyzed with qualitative descriptive methodology, using SPSS version 17 (Chicago incorporated).
Conclusion: The study concluded that women’s access to breast reconstruction was adversely influenced by the barriers and perceptions of the surgery. The barriers and misperceptions of breast reconstruction are related to accessibility, availability, affordability, awareness, cost and fears cast on people about the surgery. Clinicians managing breast cancer patients should properly educate the patients. These hindrances could be mitigated by preemptive education through videos and social media. All governmental and non governmental agencies should be used to educate the populace.
Mba O. Ozinko1*, Joseph E. Udosen2, Joseph S. Ukam1 and Assem M. Ozinko3