Since standard radical mastectomy was established by Halsted for breast cancer, surgical procedures for breast cancer have been changed according to the results of randomized controlled trials. Breast-conserving treatment is now regarded as a standard local treatment for early breast cancer. More recently, sentinel node biopsy is becoming popular as an alternative procedure to axillary node dissection for nodal staging. These new procedures have been believed to be better in terms of patients' quality of life in comparison with previous surgical procedures without impairing prognosis.Many studies regarding the quality of life (QOL) of patients after such procedures have been reported. Here we review those data, especially of studies comparing quality of life of patients after mastectomy and breast-conserving treatment, and of those after axillary node dissection and sentinel node biopsy. Viewpoints and issues on surgical treatment-related QOL are discussed.
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