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Florida Breast Cancer Foundation funds UM study of stress management in breast cancer treatment
Date:7/14/2014

Coral Gables, Fla. Can psychological intervention help women adapt to the stresses of breast cancer? It appears that a brief, five-week psychological intervention can have beneficial effects for women who are dealing with the stresses of breast cancer diagnosis and surgery. Intervening during this early period after surgery may reduce women's distress and providing cognitive or relaxation skills for stress management may help them adapt to treatment.

University of Miami (UM) researchers found that women who received cognitive behavioral or relaxation training reported greater improvements in mood than women in a health education control group, which also lasted five weeks. Women in the cognitive behavioral group also reported reduced breast cancer-specific distress, as well as improved emotional-well-being, while women in the relaxation group reported reduced disruptions in social activities.

The next step in that research, which will be funded by the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation for a two-year period, is to identify the cellular and molecular changes that could explain these effects, according to Dr. Michael Antoni, professor in the Department of Psychology at the UM College of Arts and Sciences, and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention Control and Survivorship program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center The grant will support Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

Antoni's team hopes to show that the five-week program produces the same changes in stress hormone levels and measures of immune function and inflammatory processes over an extended follow-up period that have been seen in patients who participated in longer programs, typically from 10 weeks to 12 months. Indicators of psychological and physiological well-being may provide a pathway through which these interventions could improve quality of life and health outcomes over the long-term survivorship period, with positive effects seen as m
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Contact: Annette Gallagher
a.gallagher1@umiami.edu
305-284-1121
University of Miami
Source:Eurekalert

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