Psychological response to breast cancer: effect on outcome

Lancet. 1979 Oct 13;2(8146):785-7. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(79)92127-5.


A prospective, multidisciplinary, 5-year study of 69 consecutive female patients with early (T0,1N0,1M0) breast cancer was conducted. Patients' psychological responses to the diagnosis of cancer were assessed 3 months postoperatively. These responses were related to outcome 5 years after operation. Recurrence-free survival was significantly common among patients who had initially reacted to cancer by denial or who had a fighting spirit than among patients who had responded with stoic acceptance or feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Death
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Breast Neoplasms / mortality
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors