ANN ARBOR, MI - Women treated for early-stage breast cancer do not all carry the same level of worry and concern over cancer recurrence, U.S. researchers found.
Nancy K. Janz, a professor of health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, found nearly half of Latinas who speak little English expressed a great deal of worry about recurrence of their breast cancer.
"Some worry about cancer recurrence is understandable," Janz said in a statement. "But for some women, these worries can be so strong that they impact their treatment decisions, symptom reporting and screening behaviors, and overall quality of life."
The study found 46 percent of Latinas who spoke primarily Spanish said they worry very much about cancer recurrence, but the number drops to 25 percent for Latinas who speak primarily English, 14 percent for white women and 13 percent for African-Americans.
The researchers surveyed 1,837 women in Detroit and Los Angeles who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
"The challenge is to ensure women are aware of the signs of recurrence while not increasing anxious preoccupation with excessive worry," Janz said. "How much women worry about recurrence is often not aligned with their actual risk for cancer recurrence."
The finding are published online ahead of print in April 1 issue of the journal Cancer