Social well-being during the first year after a breast cancer diagnosis may have a beneficial effect on cancer outcomes. These results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
A diagnosis of breast cancer often affects a woman’s quality of life, but it’s been less clear whether quality of life affects breast cancer outcomes. Quality of life has physical, psychological, social, and material aspects, and any one these (or a combination) may affect health.
To explore the relationship between post-diagnosis quality of life and breast cancer outcomes, researchers evaluated information from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study. The study enrolled more than 2,000 women. Information about quality of life was collected six and 36 months after diagnosis.
Women were followed for close to five years after their initial quality-of-life assessment.
The researchers conclude “Social well-being in the first year after cancer diagnosis is a significant prognostic factor for breast cancer recurrence or mortality, suggesting a possible avenue of intervention by maintaining or enhancing social support for women soon after their breast cancer diagnosis to improve disease outcomes.”
Reference: Epplein M, Zheng Y, Zheng W et al. Quality of life after breast cancer diagnosis and survival. Journal of Clinical Oncology. Early online publication December 20, 2010.