Untreated effects of breast cancer care increase depression and anxiety among survivorsDecember 09, 2016
SAN ANTONIO - Treatment advances have increased the five-year survival rate for breast cancer to 90 percent. But, for many of the 2.8 million survivors in the United States, the price of survival includes severe physical and psychosocial symptoms -- including joint pain, fatigue, weight gain and insomnia -- that may go untreated and persist for many years after treatment. Long-term survivors report an average three symptoms for which they desire more help than they are receiving, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine and the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Additional results show a significant relationship between untreated symptoms and anxiety and depression among these patients. Researchers are calling on health care providers to think beyond the disease, and incorporate symptom management more frequently into routine follow-up care. Results of the study will be presented on Friday at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (poster P5-13-12).
"There's almost an unwritten 'don't ask, don't tell' mentality about residual and persistent side effects of breast cancer treatment," said lead author Steven Palmer, PhD, a research scientist at the Abramson Cancer Center. "Clinicians seeing patients for routine follow-up care may be focusing on recurrence prevention and detection to the exclusion of long term symptoms and whether survivors need help managing them. This lack of attention to potential symptoms can lead to increased levels of anxiety and depression for these cancer survivors."
In the study, 103 breast cancer survivors who have been disease-free for at least three years completed surveys assessing the prevalence and severity of nineteen symptoms and whether they would like help managing those symptoms. Anxiety and depressive symptoms were also reported by participants using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.
Results show 92 percent of survivors reported at least three long-term symptoms, primarily fatigue, aching joints, weight gain, memory trouble, or insomnia, while 65 percent had at least one unmet need for intervention, with the average survivor reporting three unmet needs. Additional results show that breast cancer survivors living with more needs for symptom management are also more likely to experience anxiety and depression. The researchers suggest that when extended to the larger breast cancer survivor population, more than 1,300,00 breast cancer survivors could be experiencing at least three specific symptoms for which they need assistance.
Services to assist with survivorship care are becoming more commonplace, but the authors suggest that for many patients, long term symptoms go unaddressed in either cancer or primary care settings, and appropriate treatments and referrals are not being made.
"Survivorship care is about more than screenings and disease prevention. It's about the whole person," said senior author Linda A. Jacobs, PhD, CRNP, director of Cancer Survivorship Programs at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center. "Our results point to a need for a more holistic view of breast cancer care where providers are thinking about what happens next for these patients and guiding them to services that can help improve their quality of life on multiple levels."
The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.
Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Related Breast Cancer Articles:
A new article published by JAMA Oncology compares outcomes for combined mammography and MRI or ultrasonography screenings for new breast cancers in women who have previously undergone breast conservation surgery and radiotherapy for breast cancer initially diagnosed at 50 or younger.
A Clinical Breast Cancer study demonstrates Videssa Breast can inform better next steps after abnormal mammogram results and potentially reduce biopsies up to 67 percent.
The proportion of women in the United States undergoing surgery for early-stage breast cancer who have preventive mastectomy to remove the unaffected breast increased significantly in recent years, particularly among younger women, and varied substantially across states.
Breast cancer patients with dense breast tissue have almost a two-fold increased risk of developing disease in the contralateral breast, according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer.
Breast conserving therapy (BCT) is better than mastectomy for patients with some types of early breast cancer, according to results from the largest study to date, presented at ECC2017.
An annual mammogram is recommended after treatment for breast cancer, but nearly one-third of women diagnosed with breast cancer aren't receiving this follow-up exam, according to new findings presented at the 2016 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.
Even though dense breast tissue is a risk factor for breast cancer, very low mammographic breast density is associated with a worse prognosis in breast cancer patients.
Young women with early breast cancer face a difficult choice about whether to opt for a mastectomy or breast conserving therapy (BCT).
In a study appearing in the April 26 issue of JAMA, Elizabeth A.
Five years after breast-conserving surgery, radiotherapy focused around the tumor bed is as good at preventing recurrence as irradiating the whole breast, with fewer side effects, researchers from the UK have found in the large IMPORT LOW trial.
Related Breast Cancer Reading:
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey: Surviving and Thriving During and After Your Diagnosis and Treatment
by Dr. Julie Silver (Author)
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Healing for Your Breast Cancer Journey will encourage comfort and encourage breast cancer patients and survivors with its inspiring stories and helpful medical information.
A support group from breast cancer diagnosis through treatment to rehabilitation and recovery, this book combines inspiring Chicken Soup for the Soul stories written just for this book and accessible leading-edge medical information from Dr. Julie Silver of Harvard Medical School. Patients and survivors will find comfort, strength and hope. View Details
Dear Friend: Letters of Encouragement, Humor, and Love for Women with Breast Cancer
by Gina L Mulligan (Author)
This beautiful collection of handwritten letters offers strength, encouragement, and comfort to women living with breast cancer. Written by compassionate strangers—many of whom have gone through their own health battles—these heartfelt letters were gathered by Girls Love Mail, an organization that provides support to people diagnosed with breast cancer as seen on NBC Nightly News. Presented in an elegant package with metallic endpapers, and a ribbon marker, and brimming with warm messages of empathy, inspiration, and humor, Dear Friend delivers words of wisdom when they're needed... View Details
The Breast Cancer Survival Manual, Sixth Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide for Women with Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer
by John Link M.D. (Author), James Waisman M.D. (Author), Nancy Link R.N. (Author)
One of the most comprehensive and bestselling books on breast cancer treatment and survival, completely revised and updated
The sixth edition of Breast Cancer Survival Manual provides essential updates on treatment and care, enhancing the basic information that has made this the most trusted guide for women diagnosed with breast cancer for the past two decades. This edition includes the most current advice on:
· The new genomic classification of breast cancer and its importance in treatment planning
· Cancer gene testing, which determines if a woman will benefit... View Details
Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)
by Susan M. Love (Author), Karen Lindsey (Contributor), Elizabeth Love (Contributor)
For a woman faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer, the information available today is vast, uneven, and confusing. For more than two decades, readers have relied on Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book to guide them through this frightening thicket of research and opinion to find the best possible options for their particular situations. This sixth edition explains exciting advances in targeted treatments, hormonal therapies, safer chemotherapy, and immunologic approaches as well as new forms of surgery and radiation. There is extensive guidance for the increasing number of women living for... View Details
Just Get Me Through This! - Revised and Updated: A Practical Guide to Coping with Breast Cancer
by Deborah A. Cohen (Author), Robert M. Gelfand M.D. (Author)
You Can Get Through This
Your doctor told you it was breast cancer. So now what?! You'll need plenty of essential advice--the kind that only comes from someone who's been there.
In Just Get Me Through This! Deborah A. Cohen and Robert M. Gelfand, M.D. help you deal with all the ups and downs of the breast cancer experience. From the shock of diagnosis to getting through treatment to getting on with your life, they pack it with plenty of straight talk and practical tips. This newly updated edition also includes advice from two prominent breast cancer... View Details
Heal Breast Cancer Naturally: 7 Essential Steps to Beating Breast Cancer
by Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (Author)
One out of eight women will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. One out of 3 women will experience some form of cancer in their life time.
I was one of those statistics even though I was living a healthy lifestyle that consisted of organic foods, regular exercise, massage, Chiropractic care and colonics. How could somebody like me develop Breast Cancer?
That very question led to thousands of hours of research, study, soul-searching and prayer. It all came together as The 7 Essentials – 7 basic steps that are necessary for preventing and healing cancer, or any dis-ease for... View Details
Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor's Guide to Staying Fearless and Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer
by Melanie Young (Author)
Charge head on into the battle with breast cancer, armed with these outstanding survivors' tips on how to stay sane, focused, and in charge. Written by a breast cancer survivor with expert insights, handy checklists and helpful questions to ask your doctors, all geared toward streamlining your new life. This detailed, upbeat book helps you make informed decisions, eat and exercise to stay strong, look and feel your best, eliminate stress and boost your spirits with positive thinking and a dose of humor. Don't let your cancer control you; empower yourself and ease the transition with this... View Details
Breast Cancer Smoothies: 100 Delicious, Research-Based Recipes for Prevention and Recovery
by Daniella Chace (Author)
The statistics are staggering. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women--About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Second only to heart disease by a mere one percent, every ounce of prevention and every window of opportunity for healing is critical. In order to reduce the risk of developing this common disease, you need a targeted plan to protect yourself from common breast toxins and to strengthen your immune defenses.
In her delightful new book, Daniella breaks down the complex topic of... View Details
Inkspirations for Breast Cancer Survivors: Coloring Designs to Awaken the Healing Hero Within
by Beverly Vote (Author), Ann-Margret Hovsepian (Author)
If you or someone you care about is battling breast cancer, you know that maintaining a positive attitude is an invaluable tool for healing. Inkspirations for Breast Cancer Survivors was created by Beverly Vote, a breast cancer survivor, to help you de-stress, recharge, and renew so that you can awaken your healer within.
Over two decades ago, Beverly Vote was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 38. With a bleak diagnosis, and few resources, she felt helpless, overwhelmed, and alone. The experience forced her to dig deep into her emotional and physical wellspring to... View Details
Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond
by Marc Silver (Author)
A unique guide, like none other on the market-packed with medical information, practical tips, psychological insight, and coping strategies-to help men help the women they love through this trying time.
When Marc Silver became a breast cancer husband three years ago, he learned firsthand how frightened and helpless the breast cancer husband feels. He searched in vain for a book that would give him the information and advice he so desperately sought. Now this award-winning journalist has compiled just the kind of emotionally supportive and useful resource that he wished he had been... View Details