There are many fears of the devastating effects of breast cancer among the women of Syracuse. And so good advice on how to naturally reduce the risk of death or recurrence of breast cancer is always welcomed here. ScienceDaily has written “Strong Social Ties Benefit Breast Cancer Patients”, http://bit.ly/eZChic. The materials for this article were provided by Vanderbilt Medical University, http://www.mc.vanderbilt.edu. And this study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, http://bit.ly/fBXxRc.
According to new research which was done by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and the Shanghai Institute of Preventive Medicine breast cancer patients who have a strong social support system in the first year after diagnosis are less likely to die or have a recurrence of cancer. Under the leadership of primary investigator Xiao Ou Shu, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Medicine at VICC, and senior author of the study, patients in the study were enrolled in the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survivor Study, a large, population-based review of female breast cancer survivors in China, which Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Shanghai Institute of Preventive Medicine have carried out since 2002.
A total of 2,230 breast cancer survivors completed a quality of life survey six months after diagnosis and a majority responded to a follow-up survey 36 months after diagnosis. These women were questioned about physical issues like sleep, eating and pain, psychological well-being, social support and material well-being. Their answers were than converted to an overall quality of life score. During a median follow-up of 4.8 years after this initial quality of life assessment, the researchers documented participants who had died or been diagnosed with a cancer recurrence. It was found that six months after diagnosis, only greater social well-being was significantly associated with a decreased risk of dying or having a cancer recurrence.
In this study emotional support was found to be the strongest predictor of cancer recurrence. Specifically women who reported the highest satisfaction with marriage and family had a 43 percent risk reduction, while those women with strong social support had a 40 percent risk reduction and those women with favorable interpersonal relationships had a 35 percent risk reduction. The first author of this stidy, Meira Epplein, Ph.D., has said “We found that social well-being in the first year after cancer diagnosis is an important prognostic factor for breast cancer recurrence or death. This suggests that the opportunity exists for the design of treatment interventions to maintain or enhance social support soon after diagnosis to improve disease outcomes.”
Women suffering from breast cancer and their families should therefore always remember the significance of social well-being in determining prognosis of this illness. To help reinforce this understanding Epplein has also commented “Our research supports previous studies which have found a benefit for breast cancer patients who have a meaningful emotional support network. These results suggest that therapeutic interventions may be useful because social well-being is potentially modifiable.”
Mandel News Service: http://www.mandelnews.com