Saturday April 20, 2019

Lonely Breast Cancer Sufferers more likely to die than those with Busy Social Lives, says a recent study

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Cancer patient in hospital. Wikimedia

New York,December 12, 2016: More socially isolated breast cancer survivors are at increased risk of a relapse — thereby increasing their risk of dying — while women with larger social networks experience better outcomes, new research has found.

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“It is well established that larger social networks predict lower overall mortality in healthy populations and in breast cancer patients, but associations with breast cancer-specific outcomes like recurrence and breast cancer mortality have been mixed,” said Candyce Kroenke from Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California.

“These findings, from a large pooled cohort of nearly 10,000 women with breast cancer, confirm the generally beneficial influence of women’s social ties on breast cancer recurrence and mortality; however, they also point to complexity, that not all social ties are beneficial, and not in all women,” Kroenke noted.

The researchers examined information on 9,267 women with breast cancer to see how patients’ social networks within approximately two years following their diagnosis might affect their survival.

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Over a median follow-up of 10.6 years, there were 1448 cancer recurrences and 1521 deaths (990 from breast cancer).

Compared with socially integrated women, socially isolated women had a 40 per cent higher risk of recurrence, a 60 per cent higher risk of dying from breast cancer, and a 70 per cent higher risk of dying from any cause.

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The study was published online in the journal CANCER. (IANS)

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Chinese Researchers Reveal Mechanism of Chronic Stress Promoting Breast Cancer Development

Qiang noted that patients with breast cancer, ovarian cancer and stomach cancer often have negative emotions, which in turn accelerates the development of their own tumours

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Breast Cancer
Nano technology offers hope for better cancer testing. Pixabay

Chinese researchers have revealed the mechanism of how chronic stress promotes breast cancer development, shedding light on future clinical treatment for cancer.

Cancer patients often suffer negative emotions such as anxiety, despair and fear, which are risk factors facilitating tumour growth as well as promoting cancer progression. However, the specific mechanisms of how chronic stress affects cancer development remains unknown yet.

Researchers from the Dalian Medical University in China found that chronic stress might increase epinephrine levels, which enhances lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA) and promotes breast cancer stem-like cells, Xinhua reported.

Using a drug screen that targeted LDHA, they found that Vitamin C reversed the chronic stress-induced cancer stem-like phenotype.

The study demonstrates the critical importance of psychological factors in promoting stem-like properties in breast cancer cells and provides a promising therapeutic approach for breast cancer, according to Liu Qiang, lead researcher at the varsity.

Representational image.

“The LDHA-lowering agent Vitamin C can be a potential approach for combating stress-associated breast cancer,” Qiang said, in the paper published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

His team has been engaged in the dynamic regulation of cancer stem cells research as well as the mechanism of psychosocial behaviour affecting tumour development.

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Qiang noted that patients with breast cancer, ovarian cancer and stomach cancer often have negative emotions, which in turn accelerates the development of their own tumours.

“It is necessary to monitor their chronic stress comprehensively by taking psychological assessments as well as conducting blood tests which include epinephrine levels,” Qiang said. (IANS)