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Women who have received a positive breast cancer test may have a better prognosis if they have a strong support system of family and friends, according to new research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Researchers from the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center examined data collected between 2002 and 2008. The information was based on surveys of women were diagnosed with breast cancer during this period.
The surveys asked women questions about their quality of life, including how much support they received from their friends and family. After following up with women four to five years later, the researchers found that those who has satisfying personal lives were 48 percent less likely to see a recurrence of cancer and 38 percent less likely to die from the disease.
"We found that social well-being in the first year after cancer diagnosis is an important prognostic factor for breast cancer recurrence or death," said Meira Epplein, who led the study. "This suggests that the opportunity exists for the design of treatment interventions to maintain or enhance social support soon after diagnosis to improve disease outcomes."
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