A Community Study of Psychological Distress and Immune Function in Women With Family Histories of Breast Cancer.
Annual rept. 1 Sep 94-31 Aug 95,
SLOAN-KETTERING INST FOR CANCER RESEARCH NEW YORK
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To Date 99 women have been recruited for their first assessment. All women completed the psychological assessments and 55 agreed to have their blood taken for immune assessments. The initial psychological data have been entered and preliminary results indicate that women with family histories of cancer 1 have higher levels of general distress 2 have higher levels of cancer-specific distress and, 3 perceive themselves to be at higher risk for developing breast cancer, compared to women without histories of cancer in the family. To examine the relations among these variables, regression analyses were conducted. Results indicated that perceived risk for breast cancer accounted for a significant portion of the group differences in general distress, but was not directly related to general distress. On the other hand, cancer specific distress was independently related to general distress, as well as accounting for a significant portion of the group differences. These results suggest that perceived risk may contribute to the higher levels of general distress in women with family histories of breast cancer indirectly, by increasing their cancer-specific distress. Future research will examine whether the higher levels of general distress andor cancer specific distress affect immune function in women at familial risk for breast cancer.
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research