Ohio State University Study Finds Stress Reduction Aids Survival in Recurrent Breast Cancer

A relaxation programme cut the risk of death by more than half, researchers found.

They believe that the findings show the impact of stress on cancer has been underestimated.
"We're finding that reducing stress may be another powerful therapy to fight the disease," said Prof William Carson, from Ohio State University, one of the authors of the research.

A stress-relieving program may boost survival in women with recurrent breast cancer and also improve their quality of life, a new study suggests.

Patients who took part in the program had "significant emotional improvement and more favorable immune responses in the year following recurrence diagnosis," study author Barbara L. Andersen, a psychology professor at Ohio State University, said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research.

It's tough enough for a woman to go through one diagnosis of breast cancer, but when the cancer recurs it can be devastating. Not only does the stress of wondering whether the cancer will come back again, take a toll on the patient's quality of life, it can also take a toll on her health.

So how can the medical community help these patients?
According to a new study in the publication Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, stress-reducing psychological intervention seems to help increase the quality of life and the survival rate among women with recurrent breast cancer over the long term.

Support group training can help women with recurrent breast cancer live longer. Scientists say reducing stress during breast cancer treatment boosts the immune system.

Stress management also appears to help improve quality of life, another factor that leads to longer survival.

Scientists found women who participated in a support group lived an average of six months longer than other women.