Saturday December 7, 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)

Next Story

Regular Use Of Hair Dye And Straightener May Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer

An intriguing finding was the association between the use of chemical hair straighteners and breast cancer

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Breast cancer pink ribbon
Breast cancer survival rates are rising as screening and treatment improve. Pixabay

Researchers have found that women who use permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who don’t use these products.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, suggests that this risk increased with more frequent use of these chemical hair products.

“Researchers have been studying the possible link between hair dye and cancer for a long time, but results have been inconsistent,” said study author Alexandra White from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in US.

“In our study, we see a higher risk associated with hair dye use, and the effect is stronger in African American women, particularly those who are frequent users,” White said.

Using data from 46,709 women in the Sister Study, researchers at NIEHS, found that women who regularly used permanent hair dye in the year prior to enrolling in the study were nine per cent more likely than women who didn’t use hair dye to develop breast cancer.

Among African American women, using permanent dyes every five to eight weeks or more was associated with a 60 per cent increased risk of breast cancer as compared with an eight per cent increased risk for white women.

The research team found little to no increase in breast cancer risk for semi-permanent or temporary dye use.

Permanent hair dye risks breast cancer
Women who regularly use permanent hair dye could be increasing their risk of breast cancer up to 60 percent, according to scientists writing in the International Journal of Cancer. Pixabay

An intriguing finding was the association between the use of chemical hair straighteners and breast cancer.

The researchers found that women who used hair straighteners at least every five to eight weeks were about 30 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer.

While the association between straightener use and breast cancer was similar in African American and white women, straightener use was much more common among African American women, the study said.

The researchers cautioned that although there is some prior evidence to support the association with chemical straighteners, these results need to be replicated in other studies.

ALSO READ: Protein Deficiency Ordinary Among Indians: Experts

When asked if women should stop dyeing or straightening their hair, study co-author Dale Sandler, “We are exposed to many things that could potentially contribute to breast cancer, and it is unlikely that any single factor explains a woman’s risk.

“While it is too early to make a firm recommendation, avoiding these chemicals might be one more thing women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer,” Sandler said.(IANS)