Stress Responses and Worries of Women at Risk for Breast Cancer
Sánchez, Czarina E.
The physiological impact of a breast cancer discussion between mothers and their daughters was analyzed in relation to other anxiety and concern measures. Fifty-eight mothers with varied breast cancer histories participated. Measures of general anxiety (BAI), concern about breast cancer (IES), perceived risk, and observational data were correlated to salivary cortisol and norepinephrine measured by alpha-amylase. Analysis revealed that cancer specific worries but not general anxiety were positively correlated to cortisol levels, specifically IES-intrusion subscale scores, but not IES-avoidance. Observed behavioral anxiety and avoidance during the interaction did not show significant correlations. However, exploratory analyses revealed whine/complain behavior to be positively correlated with cortisol levels.