Psychophysiological Reactions and Immunological Sensitivity to Stress in Healthy Women at Familial Risk for Breast Cancer.
SLOAN-KETTERING INST FOR CANCER RESEARCH NEW YORK
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To date 99 women with and without family histories of breast cancer have been recruited. Of those, 84 women have participated in the experimental assessment, 24 women with family histories and 58 women without family histories of breast cancer. Subjects are exposed to two stressful tasks in the laboratory and psychobiological reactivity is measured in response to these tasks. We report several findings 1 Women with family histories of breast cancer have greater psychobiological reactivity to acute stressors than women without family histories of cancer. This suggests that these women not only experience chronic distress due to the threat of cancer but also show greater stress responses to an acute event. 2 Positive and negative mood changes contribute to heightened immunological sensitivity to the stressors. 3 Hostility and depression are associated with higher natural killer cell activity at baseline. These last two findings show the importance of subjective moods in determining immune function and has methodological implications for PNI research in cancer.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology