Breast cancer patients who have close friends and enjoy an active social life are more likely to be able to deal with the pain and other physical symptoms of the disease compared to others, a new study reveals.
Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Division of Research observed over 3,100 women in North California who were diagnosed with breast cancer during 2006 and 2011. The women are asked to fill out detailed questionnaires on their social networks, the support that they received, the physical symptoms of their cancer and the emotional and physical quality of their lives.
The researchers found that the women with the highest levels of social interaction reported that they had the best overall quality of life during their treatment.
"This study provides research-based evidence that social support helps with physical symptoms. Social support matters in terms of physical outcomes. Positive social interaction was significantly related to every quality-of-life measure", lead researcher Candyce Kroenke said.