Financial hardship contributes to diagnosis anxiety

February 8, 2010, American Cancer Society

A new analysis has found that women with medium or low levels of income are particularly susceptible to anxiety and depression after being diagnosed with the precancerous breast condition, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS). Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study suggests that women with financial hardship may benefit from psychosocial interventions that are designed to accommodate their unique needs.

While research suggests that education and financial status, also known as , can affect mental and physical health, few studies have examined its impact on following a major such as being diagnosed with a potentially serious medical condition. To investigate, Janet de Moor, MPH, PhD, of The Ohio State University College of Public Health and colleagues looked at whether socioeconomic status affects the development of feelings of anxiety and depression in women after they are diagnosed with DCIS. The investigators also explored whether social support might impact the effects of socioeconomic status on distress in these women.

During the study, 487 women with newly diagnosed DCIS completed questions about sociodemographic, psychosocial, and clinical characteristics at the time of enrollment and again nine months after their diagnosis. The researchers found that financial status was inversely associated with distress at the nine month follow up point: women with financial hardship reported higher levels of anxiety and depression than women with no financial hardship. Financial status also predicted change in anxiety and depression: women with medium to high levels of financial hardship reported an increase in their feelings of anxiety and depression during the study period, while women with no financial hardship reported a decrease in their feelings of anxiety and depression over time. In addition, the probability of exhibiting signs of clinical depression increased with increasing financial hardship.

The researchers noted that a woman's education level did not appear to have an impact on whether or not she developed anxiety or depression. Also, the presence of social support did not explain the association between financial status and change in distress, and social support did not buffer the effect of low socioeconomic status on anxiety and depression.

"Women with medium or low socioeconomic status are forced to manage competing stressors: the stress of and the stress of a major health event," said Dr. de Moor. "Because these concomitant stressors leave women vulnerable to escalating distress after their DCIS diagnosis, women with medium or low financial status may benefit from psychosocial interventions."

More information: "The role of socioeconomic status in adjustment following ductal carcinoma in situ." Janet S. de Moor, Ann H. Partridge, Eric P. Winer, Jennifer Ligibel, and Karen M. Emmons. Cancer; Published Online: February 8, 2010, DOI:10.1002/cncr.24832

Related Stories

Recommended for you

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

Single blood test screens for eight cancer types

January 18, 2018
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.