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Psychother Psychosom. 1997;66(5):229-36.

Psychosocial factors and breast cancer: a 6-year Italian follow-up study.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies, University of Udine, Italy. giraldi@cc.uniud.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Over the last 20 years contradictory results have been obtained as regards to the role of psychosocial factors in favouring the onset of breast cancer and/or in influencing disease progression.

METHODS:

The present study prospectively investigated the association between psychosocial variables and breast cancer in 95 out-patients. Within 3 months from the diagnosis the patients completed a series of questionnaires to evaluate psychological disturbances, emotional repression, adjustment to cancer, social support and occurrence of life events in the past. At a distance of 6 years from the first assessment, the patients' charts were re-examined in order to evaluate the course of cancer.

RESULTS:

A higher volume of primary tumour at surgery was shown in patients who had had stressful events in the 6 months preceding cancer diagnosis. At follow-up, no relationship was found between psychosocial variables and the course of disease. The analysis of the frequency of relapses and deaths, and the survival analysis indicated that positivity of loco-regional lymph nodes, infiltrating histotype of the tumour and tumour stage were the only significant predictors of the time of death.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study suggests that clinical and biological rather than psychosocial factors exert a major role in breast cancer progression.

PMID:
9311026
DOI:
10.1159/000289140
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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