Stress management 'can affect breast cancer treatment'

22 March 2012

Managing stress could help women with breast cancer to alter the course of their treatment against the deadly disease.

Researchers at the University of Miami have demonstrated that a stress management scheme was pivotal in altering tumour-promoting processes at the molecular level.

With the use of the Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Management (CBSM) program, the study group was able to display how genes in the cells of the immune system could be altered from being turned on or off.

Michael Antoni, director of the Center for Psycho-Oncology Research at the Florida institute and lead researcher, believes such a strategy could enhance breast cancer treatment in the future.

"For the women in the CBSM groups, there was better psychological adaptation to the whole process of going through treatment for breast cancer and there were physiological changes that indicated that the women were recovering better," he explained.

Details of the program follow on from Dr Hatem Azim, a medical oncologist at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, stating that he has conducted research which proves that pregnancy does not heighten the risk of breast cancer returning.

Posted by Edward Bartel

Antoni, Michael. 'Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Management Reverses Anxiety-Related Leukocyte Transcriptional Dynamics'. Biological Psychiatry. Wednesday March 21st 2012.

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