(ABC News) – Breast cancer affects one in eight American women at some point in their lives.
And it kills more than 40 thousand every year.
But we’ve come a long in diagnosing it sooner and treating it more effectively.
And today, new research suggesting that staying socially active may be one simple way to improve a woman’s odds when faced with this disease.
An international team of researchers studied the social habits of more than nine thousand women with breast cancer in the U.S. and China.
Finding that women who were socially isolated had a 43% higher risk of cancer recurrence and a 64% higher risk of early death from breast cancer over a ten year period.
Women with larger social circles had a better chance of surviving and not having the cancer return, compared to those with smaller social networks.
The findings can’t prove that strengthening social connections can help tilt the odds against cancer.
But it is good news for those of us who have loved ones to lean on during times of sickness.
And for others, it’s a reminder that finding ways to establish social connections through support groups or by other means may have more benefits than we know.