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Candyce Kroenke (Cohort 3) The Telegraph - Health News

Friends and family 'boost breast cancer survival'

Breast cancer patients with a wide circle of friends and relatives are 38 per cent less likely to die within a decade of being diagnosed than those with few friends and less close-knit families, found American researchers.

Candyce Kroenke, a research scientist at American health firm Kaiser Permanente, said: “We found that women with small social networks had a significantly higher risk of mortality than those with large networks.”

She continued: “We also found that when family relationships were less supportive, community and religious ties were critical to survival.

“This suggests that both the quality of relationships, rather than just the size of the network, matters to survival, and that community relationships matter when relationships with friends and family are less supportive.”

She and colleagues studied 2,264 women diagnosed with invasive early-stage breast cancer between 1997 and 2000, and followed their health for an average of 10.8 years. Their report is published in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.