The aim of this study was to detect differences in depressive symptomatology in post-menopausal breast cancer patients who had recently undergone either mastectomy or breast conserving therapy. We measured depressive symptoms shortly after diagnosis and surgery as well as 6 months later. There were no significant differences in mean scores and relative risk estimates between the two treatment groups at either time of measurement. From this study we conclude that women treated by breast-conserving therapy have comparable levels of depressive symptoms to women treated by mastectomy during the first 8 months after diagnosis. Breast-conserving therapy can have cosmetic and physical advantages, but requires as much psychological adjustment as mastectomy does.