Send to

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

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

Author information

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Technologies, University of Udine, Italy.



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.


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.


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.


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

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center