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Psychological intervention provides enduring health benefits for women with breast cancer
Date:6/8/2010

were diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer. After recurrence, women who had earlier received the psychological intervention had a 59 percent reduction in the risk of dying of breast cancer.

According to Andersen, these results "show enduring benefits from the psychological intervention that were never previously considered or observed," and suggest that the intervention's mechanisms affected patients' risks for recurrence and for breast cancer death.

"Survival advantages occurred above and beyond the improvements from state-of-the-science oncology treatments received at an NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center," Andersen said. "An empirically supported psychological intervention for cancer patients can yield robust gains of enduring quality, and ones that may include important health benefits."

Sarah Gehlert, Ph.D., E. Desmond Lee professor of racial and ethnic diversity, The Brown School, Washington University, St. Louis, said the results of this study are unique because they provide longitudinal evidence of the benefits of psychological intervention in this study population, and are based on a solid theoretical base.

"We currently have few empirically supported psychosocial interventions for use with women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer," she said. "An intervention that increased survival would be incredibly valuable. It represents a new tool for improving the lives of women with breast cancer."

Gehlert, who is not affiliated with this study, believes this research will provide a template for future health services research in breast cancer.

"Dr. Andersen's intervention provides a strong model for translation in breast cancer research," she said. "These results are extremely heartening, because it shows that a psychological intervention can have long-term positive effects."


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Contact: Tara Yates
tara.yates@aacr.org
267-646-0558
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert  

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