Women with breast cancer need one thing, almost more than medicine itself; Friendship. It has been shown that a strong social support system and strong friendships during periods of recovery and treatment of breast cancer not only help survival rates, but help to ease the pain of treatment.
A study was conducted on 3,139 women that are members of Kaiser Permanente in California. They had all been diagnosed with breast cancer between 2006 and 2011. All of the participants took surveys two months after they had been diagnosed that asked about their social ties, friendships, support systems, relationships, symptoms of the cancer, and their quality of life.
The researchers found that the quality of life measurements were much higher in those who had strong support systems in place as opposed to those who didn’t. This was especially true for those who had late-stage cancer. Those with few support systems listed more symptoms than the others.
HuffPost Women had previously reported that women who didn’t have many friends or relationships for support were 61% more likely to die from breast cancer.
There are other ways that your friends can help with health benefits as well. They get you up and moving. You are more likely to exercise if you have a friend who is pushing you to do it as well because you don’t want to disappoint them or be embarrassed about being lazy. They help to keep you calm and relaxed. Having friends can also help to reduce your risk of heart disease. This could be because they relax you and help you to get rid of all of the stress in your life by being able to vent to them and talk things out instead of bottling it all up.