• 1 in 4 Breast Cancer Diagnoses May Spur PTSD

    Women who are younger, black or Asian at highest risk for short-term symptoms of stress disorder
    FRIDAY, March 1 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one in four breast cancer patients has symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder shortly after they receive their cancer diagnosis, and the risk is highest in black and Asian patients, a new study reveals.
    Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur when a person has experienced or witnessed a life-threatening event.
    Researchers interviewed more than 1,100 breast cancer patients over the age of 20 and found that 23 percent of them had PTSD symptoms during the first two to three months after diagnosis. However, those symptoms declined over the next three months.
    Younger women were more likely than older women to have PTSD symptoms, and Asian and black women had a more than 50 percent higher risk than white women, according to the researchers at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.
    The findings were released online Feb. 28 ahead of publication in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
    "This study is one of the first to evaluate the course of PTSD after a diagnosis of breast cancer," lead author Dr. Alfred Neugut, a professor of cancer research and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health, said in a Columbia University Medical Center news release.
    "The ultimate outcome of this research is to find ways to improve the quality of patients' lives," said Neugut, who is also an oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia.
    "If we can identify potential risk factors for PTSD, when women are diagnosed with breast cancer, we could provide early prevention and intervention to minimize PTSD symptoms. This approach might also have an indirect impact on the observed racial disparity in breast cancer survival," he explained.
    The study findings may also apply to patients with other types of cancer, the researchers said. They noted that PTSD symptoms have been reported in patients diagnosed with prostate cancer and lymphoma.
    More information
    Breastcancer.org has more about breast cancer and PTSD (http://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/side_effects/stress_disorder ).
    SOURCE: Columbia University Medical Center, news release, Feb. 28, 2013
  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.