Practicing Stress Management Improves Long-Term Mood, Quality of Life in Women with Breast Cancer

Started by Tonia, March 24, 2015
2 replies for this topic
Tonia

Member
558 Posts
Posted on
March 24, 2015
Results of a follow-up study have shown that when women were taught stress management techniques early in their breast cancer treatment, their mood and quality of life continued to improve up to 15 years later.

The study, published early online in CANCER, is a follow-up of a previously conducted trial where patients were followed for one year, and then five years.

“Women with breast cancer who participated in the study initially used stress management techniques to cope with the challenges of primary treatment to lower distress, “lead author Jamie Stagl,  who is currently at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a statement. “Because these stress management techniques also give women tools to cope with fears of recurrence and disease progression, the present results indicate that these skills can be used to reduce distress and depressed mood and optimize quality of life across the survivorship period as women get on with their lives.”

In 2000, Michael Antoni, of the University of Miami, conducted a randomized trial to study the effects of a stress management intervention that he developed. In the original study, 199 women who were newly treated for stage 0-III breast cancer participated in a 10-week group cognitive behavior stress management intervention that included anxiety reduction (relaxation training), cognitive restructuring, and coping skills training.

After following these women for one year, the study found that women who participated in the intervention reported lower depressive symptoms and better quality of life than those in the control group. The same held true for the 240 patients who were examined for the five-year follow-up.

Stagl noted that breast cancer survivors in the stress management group reported levels of depression and quality of life at the 15-year follow-up that were similar to what is reported by women without breast cancer. The study also found that the intervention was helpful for women of various races and ethnic backgrounds.

This is key given that ethnic minority women experience poorer quality of life and outcomes after breast cancer treatment,” says Stagl.

These current findings highlight the possibility that psychologists and social workers may be able to “inoculate” women with stress management skills early in treatment to help them maintain long-term psychosocial health.

“Because depressive symptoms have been associated with neuroendocrine and inflammatory processes that may influence cancer progression, our ongoing work is examining the effects of stress management on depression and inflammatory biomarkers on the one hand, and disease recurrence and survival on the other,” Antoni said in a statement.
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Anonymous

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
March 24, 2015
Results of a follow-up study have shown that when women were taught stress management techniques early in their breast cancer treatment, their mood and quality of life continued to improve up to 15 years later.

The study, published early online in CANCER, is a follow-up of a previously conducted trial where patients were followed for one year, and then five years.

“Women with breast cancer who participated in the study initially used stress management techniques to cope with the challenges of primary treatment to lower distress, “lead author Jamie Stagl,  who is currently at Massachusetts General Hospital, said in a statement. “Because these stress management techniques also give women tools to cope with fears of recurrence and disease progression, the present results indicate that these skills can be used to reduce distress and depressed mood and optimize quality of life across the survivorship period as women get on with their lives.”

In 2000, Michael Antoni, of the University of Miami, conducted a randomized trial to study the effects of a stress management intervention that he developed. In the original study, 199 women who were newly treated for stage 0-III breast cancer participated in a 10-week group cognitive behavior stress management intervention that included anxiety reduction (relaxation training), cognitive restructuring, and coping skills training.

After following these women for one year, the study found that women who participated in the intervention reported lower depressive symptoms and better quality of life than those in the control group. The same held true for the 240 patients who were examined for the five-year follow-up.

Stagl noted that breast cancer survivors in the stress management group reported levels of depression and quality of life at the 15-year follow-up that were similar to what is reported by women without breast cancer. The study also found that the intervention was helpful for women of various races and ethnic backgrounds.

This is key given that ethnic minority women experience poorer quality of life and outcomes after breast cancer treatment,” says Stagl.

These current findings highlight the possibility that psychologists and social workers may be able to “inoculate” women with stress management skills early in treatment to help them maintain long-term psychosocial health.

“Because depressive symptoms have been associated with neuroendocrine and inflammatory processes that may influence cancer progression, our ongoing work is examining the effects of stress management on depression and inflammatory biomarkers on the one hand, and disease recurrence and survival on the other,” Antoni said in a statement.
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Gretch

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
March 25, 2015
The concept of stress reduction techniques sounds very promising. However, I was never offered part in a study at the time of my treatments. Perhaps, I can ask my oncologist if there are any programs in progress the next time I see him. I think it would be very beneficial for all breast cancer patients to get this stress reduction training.
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BarbaraTako

Member
0 Replies
Posted on
April 02, 2015
I think post active treatment care of physical, mental, and emotional health is critical for quality of survivorship. We are all struggling with ongoing uncertainty to varying degrees. As a breast cancer and melanoma survivor, I wrote the book I wish someone had handed to me at the time of my first diagnosis "Cancer Survivorship Coping Tools--We'll get you through this." It covers initial diagnosis, active treatment, and afterwards. I also wrote a clutter and home organizing book before my diagnosis and I found that simplifying my life helped me get through my cancers better, plus, some women I know like to de-clutter while they can't sleep from the steroids!

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