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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
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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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Here’s How Exercise Can Help Breast Cancer Survivors

Among those who completed the program, those who received the lifestyle intervention were about 50 per cent more likely to have disease-free survival than those who received the general recommendations

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How exercise can help breast cancer survivors. Pixabay

Survivors of early-stage breast cancer who exercise and eat a healthy diet are more likely to lose weight and experience higher rates of disease-free survival, a new study suggests.

The research is based on an examination of a lifestyle intervention that included exercise, diet, and at least one other component such as counselling, stress management, and discontinuing tobacco smoking.

The study showed that obesity and low physical activity are associated with higher risks of developing breast cancer, as well as an increased risk of recurrence and reduced survival.

“Lifestyle intervention might improve the prognosis of breast cancer patients if adherence is high,” said Wolfgang Janni from the University of Ulm in Germany.

“Many breast cancer survivors would like to contribute actively to improving their prognosis, and guiding them on lifestyle factors that can help them control weight is one possible way to positively impact patient outcomes,” said Janni.

For the study, the researchers enrolled 2,292 women among which all had a body mass index of 24 or higher.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

Some women were randomly assigned to receive either telephone-based lifestyle intervention for two years while others received general recommendations for a healthy lifestyle alone.

Those who received the telephone calls were given advice on how to improve their diets, lower fat intake, increase physical activity, achieve moderate weight loss and other tips that were geared to their specific needs.

Findings, presented at the 2018 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in the US, demonstrated that patients in the lifestyle intervention arm had lost an average of one kg, while the patients in the control group had gained an average of 0.95 kg.

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Overall, 1,477 patients completed the lifestyle intervention. Those who completed the program had a 35 per cent higher rate of disease-free survival than those who began the program but did not complete it.

Among those who completed the program, those who received the lifestyle intervention were about 50 per cent more likely to have disease-free survival than those who received the general recommendations. (IANS)