Aim: The aim of this study to assess the presence and the significance of phantom breast syndrome (PBS) in a conservative
community with the cultural stigma of emotion disclosure related to mastectomy.
Materials and Methods: This study was conducted at the breast oncology clinics between Jan 2017-December 2018. Direct
interview using a prepared pilot tested structured questionnaire directed towards patients who underwent mastectomy between
the periods of January 2011-December 2017. Pain and body image distortion were the focus of the study. Demographic data, marital
status, education and socioeconomic status were included. The target population intended was 100 patients.
Results: 347 patients were diagnosed with breast cancer, mastectomy was performed on 143 (41.2%). The capture rate for
interview was 82 (82%) of the targeted interviewees. Age ranged between 23-83years with the median age of 49 years. The
majority of women who experienced phantom breast syndrome 30 (36.5 %) were within the reproductive age group. Progression
of pain after the first year of mastectomy was noticeable ranging from phantom pain to severe pain requiring aid with standard
analgesics with successful relief in 57 (69.5%) of the patients. Body image distortion concerns and phantom pain symptoms were
more pronounced in married 29 (35%), highly educated 32 (39%) and high socioeconomic class 13 (16%) compared to the rest of
the group. It was also noticed that pain symptoms and severity decrease with age.
Conclusion: PBS remains a significant entity that should be identified, investigated and treated in order to contribute to high
quality of life in these subsets of women with breast cancer. Special tailoring to own cultures may aid in rehabilitation of the affected