Spencer, S. M., Lehman, J. M., Wynings, C., Arena, P., Carver, C. S., Antoni, M. H., Derhagopian, R. P., Ironson, G., & Love, N.  (1999).  Concerns about breast cancer and relations to psychosocial well-being in a multi-ethnic sample of early stage patients.  Health Psychology, 18, 159-168.

Much work on psychosocial sequelae of breast cancer has been guided by the assumption that body image and partner reaction issues are focal.  In a tri-ethnic sample of 223 women treated for early-stage breast cancer within the prior year, the authors assessed a wider range of concerns and relations to well-being.  Strongest concerns were recurrence, pain, death, harm from adjuvant treatment, and bills.  Body-image concerns were moderate; concern about rejection was minimal.  Younger women had stronger sexual and partner-related concerns than older women. Hispanic women had many stronger concerns and more disruption than other women.  Life and pain concerns and sexuality concerns contributed uniquely to predicting emotional and psychosexual disruption; life and pain concerns and rejection concerns contributed to predicting social disruption.  In sum, adaptation to breast cancer is a process bearing on several aspects of the patient’s life space.

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