1 in 8 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

In 2018 alone, an estimated 266,120 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed nationwide. As the numbers of new cases grow, the support network of women who suffer from breast cancer grows. In their ever-increasing numbers, the many women diagnosed with this disease face an arduous physical and emotional journey on their road to recovery, and along the way, many suffer from depression, anxiety, and body image issues.

Regardless of the prevalence of body image issues, anxiety, and depression in women who are suffering from breast cancer, there aren’t a lot of resources available for those afflicted. A recent study suggests it’s time to right that wrong. The study, published by Bentham Science, focused on Dr. Fausto Meriggi and his team at Fondazione Poliambulanza di Brescia who studied the effects of psychotherapeutic and educational groups on depression, anxiety, and body image issues among women suffering from breast cancer.

The researchers evaluated the changes occurring in the breast cancer patients, pre and post the exposure to psychotherapeutic and educational groups. For the evaluation of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and the Body Image Scale (BIS) were used. The Italian research team found that these groups helped women with breast cancer feel less depressed, but it is well known that women often respond positively to support from their close friends. After all, the saying “it takes a village”, while it does refer to raising children, refers to how women need community too.

The women in the study also reported that the support, education, and assistance they received in these groups was an important addition to their treatment. Naturally, not every method will be suitable for every individual – a common situation in terms of treatment – but the aspect of support that comes from the groups was, in fact, beneficial. Some therapies are not suitable for each and every individual, which is to say the patients faced different problems and therefore, after being diagnosed, needed to ask their doctors for the specific groups and therapies they required.

This study was published in Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials, a journal published by Bentham Science.  Bentham Science continues their work in the Middle East and North Africa, bringing education materials and increased accessibility to the region.