A study by researchers at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC) at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, has found that nearly one in four women (23 percent) newly diagnosed with breast cancer reported symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) shortly after diagnosis, with increased risk among black and Asian women. The research has been e-published ahead of print in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
"This study is one of the first to evaluate the course of PTSD after a diagnosis of breast cancer," said lead author Alfred I. Neugut, MD, PhD, the Myron M. Studner Professor of Cancer Research, professor of medicine and epidemiology, at Columbia University's College of Physicians & Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health, and a member of the HICCC.
"We analyzed interview responses from more than 1,100 women," said Dr. Neugut. "During the first two to three months after diagnosis, nearly a quarter of them met the criteria for PTSD, although the symptoms declined over the next three months. Younger women were more likely to develop symptoms of PTSD, and data suggest Asian and black women are at a more than 50 percent higher risk than white women."