Most women do not reconstruct their breast(s) post-mastectomy. The experiences of younger women who maintain this decision, although important to understand, are largely absent in the research literature. This interview-based study uses interpretative phenomenological analysis to explore the experiences of six women, diagnosed with primary breast cancer in their 30s/40s, who decided against delayed reconstruction. Findings reported here focus on one superordinate theme (decision-making) from a larger analysis, illustrating that the women's drive to survive clearly influenced their initial decision-making process. Their tenacity in maintaining their decision is highlighted, despite non-reconstruction sometimes being presented negatively by medical teams. Patient-centred support recommendations are made.
Keywords: breast cancer; decision-making; interpretative phenomenological analysis; mastectomy; reconstruction.
© The Author(s) 2014.