Social Relationships, Inflammation, and Cancer Survival

Boen, Courtney E.; Barrow, David A.; Bensen, Jeannette T.; Farnan, Laura; Gerstel, Adrian A.; Hendrix, Laura H.; & Yang, Y. Claire. (2018). Social Relationships, Inflammation, and Cancer Survival. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 27(5), 541-9. PMCID: PMC5932225

Boen, Courtney E.; Barrow, David A.; Bensen, Jeannette T.; Farnan, Laura; Gerstel, Adrian A.; Hendrix, Laura H.; & Yang, Y. Claire. (2018). Social Relationships, Inflammation, and Cancer Survival. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 27(5), 541-9. PMCID: PMC5932225

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Background: Social stressors, such as social relationship deficits, have been increasingly linked to chronic disease outcomes, including cancer. However, critical gaps exist in our understanding of the nature and strength of such links, as well as the underlying biological mechanisms relating social relationships to cancer progression and survival. Methods: Utilizing novel questionnaire and biomarker data from the UNC Health Registry/Cancer Survivorship Cohort, this study examines the associations between diverse measures of social support and mortality risk among individuals with cancer (N = 1,004). We further assess the role of multiple serum markers of inflammation, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP), IL6, TNFα, and VEGF, as potential mediators in the social relationship–cancer link. Results: The findings revealed that one's appraisal of their social support was associated with cancer mortality, such that individuals reporting higher levels of social support satisfaction had lower mortality risk than individuals reporting lower levels of satisfaction. The amount of support received, on the other hand, was not predictive of cancer survival. We further found evidence that inflammatory processes may undergird the link between social support satisfaction and mortality among individuals with cancer, with individuals reporting higher levels of social support satisfaction having lower levels of CRP, IL6, and TNFα. Conclusions: These results provide new knowledge of the biosocial processes producing population disparities in cancer outcomes. Impact: Our study offers new insights for intervention efforts aimed at promoting social connectedness as a means for improving cancer survival.




JOUR



Boen, Courtney E.
Barrow, David A.
Bensen, Jeannette T.
Farnan, Laura
Gerstel, Adrian A.
Hendrix, Laura H.
Yang, Y. Claire



2018


Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention

27

5

541-9








PMC5932225


10694

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