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Ann Behav Med. 2012 Aug;44(1):10-20. doi: 10.1007/s12160-012-9352-y.

Stress, coping, and circadian disruption among women awaiting breast cancer surgery.

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  • 1Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Psychological distress and coping related to a breast cancer diagnosis can profoundly affect psychological adjustment, possibly resulting in the disruption of circadian rest/activity and cortisol rhythms, which are prognostic for early mortality in metastatic colorectal and breast cancers, respectively.

PURPOSE:

This study aims to explore the relationships of cancer-specific distress and avoidant coping with rest/activity and cortisol rhythm disruption in the period between diagnosis and breast cancer surgery.

METHODS:

Fifty-seven presurgical breast cancer patients provided daily self-reports of cancer-specific distress and avoidant coping as well as actigraphic and salivary cortisol data.

RESULTS:

Distress and avoidant coping were related to rest/activity rhythm disruption (daytime sedentariness, inconsistent rhythms). Patients with disrupted rest/activity cycles had flattened diurnal cortisol rhythms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Maladaptive psychological responses to breast cancer diagnosis were associated with disruption of circadian rest/activity rhythms. Given that circadian cycles regulate tumor growth, we need greater understanding of possible psychosocial effects in cancer-related circadian disruption.

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PMID:
22450856
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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