Decisions about prophylactic gynecologic surgery: a qualitative study of the experience of female Lynch syndrome mutation carriers

Dawson, Lesa and Etchegary, Holly and Dicks, Elizabeth and Watkins, Kathy E. and Alani, Sabrina (2015) Decisions about prophylactic gynecologic surgery: a qualitative study of the experience of female Lynch syndrome mutation carriers. Hereditary Cancer in Clinical Practice , 13 (10). ISSN 1897-4287

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Abstract

Background Women who carry a mutation for Lynch syndrome face complex decisions regarding strategies for managing their increased cancer risks. At present, there is limited understanding of the factors influencing women’s prophylactic surgery decisions. Methods As part of an exploratory pilot project, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 women who were Lynch syndrome mutation carriers and had made prophylactic surgery decisions. Nine of 10 women had chosen to undergo prophylactic hysterectomy and/or oophorectomy as a means of managing their increased gynecological cancer risks. Results Study findings revealed that surgery decisions were influenced by multiple factors, including demographic variables such as age and parity, as well as psychosocial factors such as cancer worry, in addition to personal and social knowledge of gynecological cancer. While all women were satisfied with their surgery decision, some reported they were not fully informed about the negative impact on their quality of life post-surgery (e.g., complications of surgically-induced menopause), nor about the potential for, or risks and benefits of, hormone replacement therapy. Conclusions Study findings highlight some of the factors associated with prophylactic surgery decisions and women’s perceptions about pre-surgical information provision and needs. Suggestions are made for improving the information and support provided to female carriers of a Lynch syndrome mutation.

Item Type: Article
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11796
Item ID: 11796
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Keywords: Lynch syndrome, HNPCC, Prophylactic surgery, Gynecological
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 19 March 2015
Date Type: Publication
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