Coping with modesty during radiotherapy for breast cancer: a multicentric study

Luca Boldrini, Loredana Dinapoli, Edda Boccia, Morena Caliandro, Sarah Pia Colangione, Chiara Elia, Veronica Pollutri, Gaia Sartori, Fabiana Gregucci, Elisa Marconi, Stefania Manfrida, Valeria Masiello, Daniela Pia Rosaria Chieffo, Fabio Marazzi, Alba Fiorentino, Maria Antonietta Gambacorta

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


PurposeBreast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed tumour, representing nearly 30% of all new cases in women. Radiotherapy (RT) plays a crucial role in the management of breast cancer. The objective of this study is to assess modesty in patients undergoing RT for breast cancer and take their suggestions and ideas into consideration to enhance the quality of treatment in this regard.MethodsThe study enrolled 555 breast cancer patients undergoing adjuvant RT in three Italian centres. Patients completed a self-test questionnaire assessing their comfort level concerning modesty during therapy and their relationship with strangers and healthcare professionals. The impact of religious views and potential changes in sexuality were also examined.ResultsResults showed that modesty was a common concern across the overall cohort of patients, with discomfort in being undressed during RT correlating with discomfort experienced in other daily life situations. Most patients felt more at ease with same sex healthcare workers. Age was also a major factor with younger patients generally feeling more comfortable with healthcare workers of the same age group. Interestingly, the surgical technique used (mastectomy vs. quadrantectomy) did not significantly influence modesty perceptions. Patients provided valuable suggestions to improve privacy and modesty during RT.ConclusionThis study demonstrates that modesty is an important issue for women undergoing RT, which can be influenced by personal characteristics and hospital-related factors. A reflection about the need to address modesty concerns and to incorporate dedicated interventions for protecting patients' physical and emotional well-being is warranted. Initiatives to improve communication, involvement, and body image support should also be integrated into the care path of patients to better their overall therapeutic experience. This study paves the way for broader research and interventions in daily cancer care.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-11
Numero di pagine11
RivistaBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2024


  • Breast cancer
  • Radiotherapy
  • Modesty
  • Healthcare


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