Managing stress uplifts mood in breast cancer patients

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New York, March 23 (IANS) Providing women with skills to manage stress early in their breast cancer treatment can improve their mood and quality of life many years later, says a new study.

Published online in the journal Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings suggest that benefits of stress management techniques during breast cancer treatment have long-term effects.

“The results indicate that these skills can be used to reduce distress and depressed mood and optimise quality of life across the survivorship period as women get on with their lives,” said lead author Jamie Stagl from the Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.

The study that started in 2000 included 240 women with a recent breast cancer diagnosis.

They participated in a randomised trial that tested the effects of a stress management intervention developed by Michael Antoni from the University of Miami.

The researchers found that the women who received the stress management intervention had persistently less depressive symptoms and better quality of life up to 15 years later.

Stagl noted that breast cancer survivors in the stress management group reported levels of depression and quality of life at the 15-year follow-up that were similar to what is reported by women without breast cancer.

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