Abstract Perspective: The relationship between the predicted risk of death and psychosocial functioning among women with early-stage breast cancer


“This study shows that the psychological reaction to a diagnosis of breast cancer is a very personal and individual response and it is not related to the risk of dying. That is, a woman who has a breast cancer that carries with it a high risk of dying is no more likely to be anxious about her diagnosis than are women with a low risk of dying of the cancer. Rates of anxiety and distress were high for all groups of women regardless if early stage and ‘curable’ or not.  This study casts into doubt the notion that women will make rational decisions about their care that are based on the physicians’ communication of precise risk estimates.”

– Steven Narod, MD, study author