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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thursday's Trivia Answer: Friendship the Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Cancer

Thought for the Day: It's Thursday & time for the answer to Tuesday's Psychological Trivia question:      

         True or False:
               Friendships can make cancer become less deadly.

The answer is true. Friendships are the secret weapon in fighting cancer (& other serious illnesses.).Research indicates that having strong social supports can improve the prognosis of cancer patients. Researcher has (1) found that “Social well-being in the first year after cancer diagnosis is a significant prognostic factor for breast cancer recurrence or mortality." They suggest that maintaining or enhancing social support for women soon after their breast cancer diagnosis is a way to improve outcomes. It has also been found to improve recovery from ovarian cancer (2), strokes (3), & colorectal cancer in men (4). (Other studies report similar benefits of friendships for patients following cardiac arrests, preventing memory loss & with depression.) Given these findings, it is important to find ways to make & nurture friendships to help improve the outcomes of serious illnesses. Having a network of friends is like an insurance policy for the challenges that life puts in our path. Tomorrow on Friday's Fabulous Finds & next week we will continue to look at both the importance of friendships & how to build them. A few of the finds relate to ways to this topic. Have a great end ot the week!

If you would like to read more about how friendships & social support can help fight cancer & other serious illnesses, here are a few articles:

1) Breast cancer: Social Support May Improve Breast Cancer Outcomes form the
Journal of Clinical Oncology They found that, "Social well-being at six months after diagnosis was linked with both survival and risk of recurrence. Women with the highest level of social well-being had a 38% reduction in risk of death and a 48% reduction in risk of recurrence. The aspects of social well-being that appeared to provide the most benefit were marriage and family, social support, and interpersonal relationships."

2) Ovarian Cancer A study finds social support and other behavioral factors are related to levels of a circulating protein which at high levels is associated with a poor prognosis in advanced ovarian cancer.
3)   Stroke "Social support had no effects on rehabilitation of light clinical neural functional default of patients with stroke(P>0.05), but it had effects on rehabilitation of moderate and severe clinical neural functional default of patients with stroke"
4)  Harvard Cancer study Low social support was associated with higher risk of both colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in men.

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