Why Loneliness Is Not Good For Breast Cancer Survivors

Judith QuinnDec 14, 2016

In the years after treatment, women who don't have strong social ties are more likely to have their cancer return or die from it than women with friends and a support network, the researchers found.

Within two years of a breast cancer diagnosis, women answered surveys about their personal relationships and social networks, including spouses or partners; religious, community and friendship ties; and the number of first-degree, living relatives.

During that period there were 1,448 cancer recurrences, and 1,521 deaths, 990 of which were caused by breast cancer.

The team, which is highly regarded for its research into both breast and prostate cancer, believes this new finding will have a global impact on clinical, scientific and public opinion on the relative risks and benefits of using progesterone to treat women with breast cancer.

Kroenke said the types of relationships that appeared to be important to women's health varied. Data was collected and analyzed from breast cancer survivorship studies conducted in California, Utah, Oregon, Arizona, Texas and Shanghai, China. Apart from the above elements, the HER-2 Positive Breast Cancer Market research report provides a 360-degree view of the HER-2 Positive Breast Cancer industry with geographic segmentation, statistical forecast and the competitive landscape.

And today, new research suggesting that staying socially active may be one simple way to improve a woman's odds when faced with this disease.

It has also been revealed that breast cancer patients with few social connections are less likely to survive. "We're sad for them and they tend to have more symptoms, but I don't really know if they do worse in the end". Perhaps recommending these methods for women experiencing menopausal symptoms could reduce the level of nonadherence to breast cancer prevention treatments. Also, more than 1,500 women died, almost 1,000 from breast cancer, the researchers found.

Still, it's important for doctors and other health care workers to help patients connect with support groups and other programs so they won't remain socially isolated, Alcaraz said. "South Korea had the most dramatic increase in breast cancer mortality, with an 83 percent increase overall and higher mortality increase in every age group", an American Association for Cancer Research press release disclosed, adding that the breast cancer death rate is still lower in South Korea than it is in the United States.

Community ties were beneficial to older white women and Asian women as they predicted lower risks of breast cancer specific mortality and total mortality.

Being married, for example, was linked to better survival for white women, particularly those who were older. "And it is not unique to breast cancer or to cancer for that matter". Also, she stressed the need for additional research to understand the mechanisms through which social networks influence outcomes so that effective interventions might be developed.

CANCER is a peer-reviewed publication of the American Cancer Society integrating scientific information from worldwide sources for all oncologic specialties.

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