Breast Cancer Patients with Strong Social Connections May Have Better Outcomes

Breast Cancer Patients with Strong Social Connections May Have Better Outcomes
Women with stronger social networks while receiving treatment for breast cancer were found to have better outcomes than those without a support system, recent evidence suggests. This doesn't mean that someone without strong family or friend connections should expect the worse. It simply highlights the importance of creating a support system if none exists, said Nichole Cook, a breast imaging nurse coordinator at Penn State Breast Center. "While most women do have support, we see many who don't have anyone to take them to and from appointments or sit next to them as they receive test results," Cook said in a press release. Cook usually encourages patients to search for a support group, such as the one offered at Penn State Breast Center, which meets the second Monday of every month. "From diagnosis through treatment, there is such a wide range of emotions that women go through, and that can be tough on those who feel socially isolated," Cook said. "A support group is a great way to connect with others who are going through the same thing. They can talk, complain, share their experiences, and provide information and a hug." Such groups may provide an appropriate environment that allows members to trade tips on coping with side effects to discussing alternative ways of dealing with their moods and thoughts, among other possibilities. "I think just having that circle of people who understand and are dealing with the same issues is beneficial," Cook added. Social connections may not be strengthened solely within a support group. Patients
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