Effects of Breast Cancer May Last Long

COLUMBIA, Mo., Oct. 22 (UPI) — A U.S. researcher says for some women the impacts of breast cancer can be longer-lasting and do not end when they leave the hospital.

Stephanie Reid-Arndt of the University of Missouri School of Health in Columbia conducted a study that revealed those women reluctant to seek out post-chemotherapy social support — including therapy and informal support networks — report a lower quality of life and higher incidences of depression.

“A lot of times people get mentally and emotionally ready to deal with chemotherapy and they receive a lot of support during that time,” Reid-Arndt says in a statement. “Then they go home and everyone feels like it’s over, but the patients still have worries and fears about the changes they’ve been through and what it means for the future.”

Reid-Arndt says women in rural areas report close family and community relationships but many still have breast cancer-related symptoms such as body-image issues and fatigue.

“There tends to be strong community support for patients in rural areas that will accommodate varying levels of function,” Reid-Arndt said. “Unfortunately, while this informal support system provides great comfort to patients, it lacks formal mental health and health issues knowledge available from health care professionals.”

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