The integration of emotional, physiologic, and communication responses to medical oncology surveillance appointments during breast cancer survivorship

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Breast cancer survivors regularly interact with providers during routine surveillance medical oncology visits, discussing uncertainty and anxiety about potential cancer recurrence for many years after treatment. Physiologic alteration can also occur as a stress response, triggered by an upcoming surveillance visit. Survivor-provider communication can theoretically allay emotional distress. The aim of this study was to evaluate associations between emotional (uncertainty, anxiety, concerns about recurrence) and physiologic responses (cytokine levels, lymphocyte counts), and survivor-provider communication (women’s plans for their visit, negotiation of decision-making roles).

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