Length of survival and lymphocyte percentage in women with mammary cancer as a function of psychotherapy

Psychol Rep. 1989 Aug;65(1):315-21. doi: 10.2466/pr0.1989.65.1.315.


50 patients suffering from terminal mammary cancer and visceral metastases received chemotherapy, and in addition half of them received psychotherapy, while half did not. A lymphocyte count was undertaken seven times in all, once before initiation of chemotherapy, the others after six applications of the therapy. As hypothesized, the 25 women who received psychotherapy lived longer and had significantly higher lymphocyte counts on Occasions 5, 6 and 7 than did the 25 women who did not receive psychotherapy. Of the types of psychotherapy employed, a specially designed form of behaviour therapy was significantly more helpful than dynamic psychotherapy in prolonging life.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / immunology
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count*
  • Prognosis
  • Psychotherapy*