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Fun and friends help ease the pain of breast cancer
Date:5/8/2013

o report the best overall quality of life during breast cancer treatment, and higher levels of social support were also related to better emotional quality of life. Moreover, of the different types of social support, positive social interaction, defined as the availability of other persons to do fun things was the most important predictor of physical quality of life. Those who indicated having little or no positive interaction were three times more likely to report a low quality of life and greater physical symptoms.

"Positive social interaction was significantly related to every quality-of-life measure," Kroenke and co-authors wrote. "Given that this dimension was determined by the availability of someone with whom to have fun, relax and get one's mind off things for awhile, it is possible that positive social interaction may enable women to forget for awhile the distress of being a cancer patient, and the physiologic effects last beyond the actual interaction."

The impact of tangible support for breast cancer patients such as doing chores, bringing them to the doctor, or providing food was also strong among late-stage patients: those with low levels of tangible support were 2.74 times more likely to report that their quality of life was worse than average.

About 230,000 women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year in the United States, and as of 2012 there were about 2.9 million breast cancer survivors. The fact that more women are being cured of breast cancer increases the importance of quality of life after diagnosis, Kroenke explained.

The Pathways study and an additional study based at the Division of Research called LACE (Life After Cancer Epidemiology) are collecting and analyzing data about women's genetic background, tumor characteristics and lifestyle choices immediately after diagnosis. Findings from these studies are providing information to help guide women as they make decisions following a breast can
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Contact: Jacqueline Brown
jacqueline.brown@golinharris.com
415-318-4361
Kaiser Permanente
Source:Eurekalert

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