Breast Cancer Diagnosis for Wives Adds To the Husbands Stress as Caregiver

breast cancerBreast cancer diagnosis changes the lives of not only the patient but also their loved ones. According to a recent online article husbands who have wives who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer experience high levels of stress. According to the article providing care for a wife with breast cancer can have a profoundly negative effect on men’s health, even many years following cancer diagnosis and completion of treatment, according to recent research.

Breast Cancer Can Be Stressful for Husbands Too

Men who were reported to have the highest levels of stress in relation to their wives’ cancer diagnosis were also at elevated risk for physical symptoms and had lower immune responses, the study showed. The researchers wanted to study  the health effects of a recurrence of breast cancer would have on patients’  who had male caregivers, but discovered that the amount of stress the men had about the cancer had a larger influence on their health than the actual current health status of their wives’ disease. The results show that medical professionals caring for breast cancer patients could provide more effective care for their patients by considering the caregivers’ health as well, the researchers say.

Breast Cancer Treatment Plans Include the Family

This study is very interesting because it supports the concept of a team approach to medical care as well as a team approach to patient support. Dr. Seify and his staff encourage patients to include family members and key support people in their breast cancer treatment plans. From breast cancer diagnosis to breast cancer reconstruction the journey can be stressful for everyone who is involved. Dr. Seify encourages married patients or those with significant others involved closely with their lives, to participate in open dialogue with the entire medical team. Support groups for caregivers can be extremely beneficial in helping to relieve stress and alleviate unnecessary fears. Having open communication is among the best advice for patients and their male caregivers.

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