News / Health

Counseling Improves Survival Rate When Breast Cancer Recurs

Women in study experienced improved sleep, fewer side effects from chemotherapy

A study in the journal, Clinical Cancer Research, indicates that women who seek counseling have a lower risk of death if their breast cancer recurs.
A study in the journal, Clinical Cancer Research, indicates that women who seek counseling have a lower risk of death if their breast cancer recurs.

Multimedia

Audio
Art Chimes

Breast cancer survivors facing the disease a second time are more likely to live longer if they get psychological counseling.

The new study builds on previous research into the physical benefits for cancer patients who get counseling as well as medical care.

Ohio State University researcher Barbara Andersen began with a group of more than 200 women who'd been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Patients were randomly assigned to get counseling or not. In research published two years ago, Anderson reported that the patients who got counseling were less likely to have a recurrence of the cancer years later.

Now, a follow-up study in the journal Clinical Cancer Research indicates that the women who got counseling also had a lower risk of death if the breast cancer came back.

Andersen says the counseling, "had a large component for stress reduction, teaching patients how to relax. But it also had elements to help them cope with their cancer treatments, change their health behaviors such as their diet, or exercise more frequently. And many strategies to help them just cope more effectively and have an enhanced quality of life."  

Andersen says the counseling produced more than psychological benefits for the women.

"They also had reduced symptoms from chemotherapy, improved sleep, and eventually improved disease outcomes."

Counseling is labor intensive, so it may not be cheap. But compared to the cost of surgery, chemotherapy, and other medical treatments for cancer, it can be a good value.

Anderson is looking at that cost effectiveness in some of her current research. Meanwhile, American cancer patients are not routinely getting the sort of psychological counseling given the breast cancer patients in this study.

"No, and I think that's what's unfortunate," says Anderson. "Certainly with the escalating health care costs, other additional services for patients are being squeezed, if you will."

Psychologist Barbara Andersen of Ohio State University says the results of this study can not be automatically extended to patients with different cancers or other serious diseases.

But she says it does suggest the importance of psychological services in patient care, not just for mental health but perhaps for the physical health of the patient as well.  

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More