Breast cancer is less likely to recur among women who have a good social network than in those who are more socially isolated, a study just published in the journal of the American Cancer Society sustains. Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California processed information from 9267 women with breast cancer to investigate how the social status of a women during the 2 years after being diagnosed with breast cancer may affect their chances of survival.
Among the women studied, there were 1448 cancer recurrences and 1521 deaths (990 from breast cancer). The sociodemography of a breast cancer survivor was also considered. Additional research is needed to understand how social networks influence the survival factor. Researchers found that rates of cancer recurrence and mortality were higher among women who were more socially isolated than among those with larger social networks. Even if the mechanism is not clarified, it became easy to observe that a mental component is involved to determine favorable evolution of some of those persons participating in the study. At the same time, a principle “bigger is better” could be defined: large circles of friends are more helpful because more people can provide a more optimistic life support.