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Stress management for breast cancer patients may affect disease course
Date:3/21/2012

ng more of these substances, compared to levels seen in the control group," Antoni says. "At the same time, the genes responsible for the production of substances involved in cancer progression, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines, chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases were down-regulated."

CBSM is a 10-week group-based program developed at UM that combines relaxation, imagery and deep breathing, along with cognitive behavior therapy, which is designed to help patients reduce bodily tension, change the way they deal with intrusive stressful thoughts, decrease negative moods, and improve their interpersonal communication skills. In the study, 79 women undergoing primary treatment for stage 0-III breast cancer were randomized into a 10 week CBSM program or a psychoeducational control group in the weeks following surgery. Six month and 12-month follow up assessments were conducted.

"You essentially have this timeframe in a woman's life where she is getting diagnosed with breast cancer, followed by surgery, then chemotherapy or radiation, and it's very stressful," Antoni says. "This can be an emotionally and physically exhausting period offering little opportunity for recovery. If stress affects the immune system in a negative way, then their recovery could be slowed down and those patients taking longer to recover may be at risk for poorer health outcomes. Conversely, if stress management intervention can reduce the impact of stress on the immune system then recovery may be hastened."

The research team plans to follow the women in this cohort to see if CBSM intervention and its effects on leukocyte gene expression are predictive of reoccurrence and/or long term health outcomes.


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Contact: Alexandra Bassil
a.bassil@miami.edu
305-284-1092
University of Miami
Source:Eurekalert

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