Worrying About Recurrence
This is an interesting study from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa about women's worry about recurrence more than three years after treatment. On the one hand, it seems like a "Duh ... of course almost everyone worries, from time to time, in a greater or lesser degree," but, on the other hand, it is helpful to consider the reasons/factors why some of us worry more.
In my experience, there is not a direct association between the likelihood of recurrence (e.g. whether someone had Stage I or stage IIIB breast cancer at diagnosis). Although the facts do influence the worry, they are not the only or even the necessarily greatest factor. Some of us are bigger worriers about everything than others. Some women, who just don't feel well, are likely to worry more. We all worry more at one time or another: right before a medical appointment, when hearing bad news about a friend, etc.
Here is part of the press release about the study and a link to read more:
Moffitt Cancer Center Researchers: Many Breast Cancer Survivors Worry about Cancer Returning
Factors for worry include fatigue and risk perception
TAMPA, Fla. (April 19, 2012) - "Cancer worry" is the fear that cancer will return, said researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center who studied cancer worry among breast cancer survivors and published their findings in Psycho-Oncology. They found that even three years after successful treatment, two-thirds of the 202 breast cancer survivors who participated in their study said they had "a moderate level of worry."
"Little is known about the factors associated with cancer worry," said paper lead author Paul B. Jacobsen, Ph.D., associate center director for Moffitt's Center for Population Sciences. "In order to evaluate those factors, this study examined associations between breast cancer worry and demographic factors, such as age, and clinical factors, such as having had chemotherapy, fatigue, greater symptom burden and greater perceived risk perception of recurrence."
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