Psychological Stress, Neutropenia and Infectious Disease in Patients Receiving Chemotherapy Treatment for Breast Cancer
Final rept. 6 Jun 1994-7 Jun 1999
SLOAN-KETTERING INST FOR CANCER RESEARCH NEW YORK
Pagination or Media Count:
In addition to being a threat to physical health, breast cancer also represents a severe threat to psychological adjustment. Patients must confront a series of stressful experiences, including abnormal mammography results, biopsydiagnosis, surgery, and chemotherapy. Our research examined the patterns and predictors of emotional distress in patients who chose to undergo adjuvant chemotherapy treatment and explored the possibility that distress might further increase the risk of infectious disease in these women whose immune defenses are already compromised by cytotoxic chemotherapy. Our studies indicate that patients levels of distress are higher on treatment days than during the interval between chemotherapy infusions, and levels are particularly high prior to the first chemotherapy infusion. We have also found that the frequency of common infectious diseases e.g., cold, flu is higher among chemotherapy patients than among healthy age-matched comparison subjects, or patients own level prior to chemotherapy.
- Medicine and Medical Research