Clinical Edge

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Social Networks and Breast Cancer Mortality

Cancer; ePub 2016 Dec 12; Kroenke, Michael, et al

Larger social networks were associated with better breast cancer (BC)-specific and overall survival, according to a recent study that included women from the After Breast Cancer Pooling Project (n=9,267) and data on social networks within ~2 years of their diagnosis. Researchers found:

  • 1,448 recurrences and 1,521 deaths (990 due to breast cancer) occurred.
  • Socially isolated women had higher risk of recurrence (HR, 1.43) and total mortality (HR, 1.69) than socially integrated women.
  • Associations were stronger in those with stage I/II cancer.
  • Lack of a spouse/partner and community ties predicted higher BC-specific mortality in older white women, but not in other women.
  • Higher BC-specific mortality was observed in nonwhite women only due to a lack of relatives and friendship ties.


Kroenke CH, Michael YL, Poole EM, et al. Postdiagnosis social networks and breast cancer mortality in the After Breast Cancer Pooling Project. [Published online ahead of print December 12, 2016]. Cancer. doi:10.1002/cncr.30440.