The results of a new study support an interaction between severe life events, psychological distress, and breast cancer (breast cancer types).

“Young women who are exposed to severe life events more than once should be considered as a risk group for breast cancer and treated accordingly,” Dr. Ronit Peled said.

Peled, from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel, and colleagues studied 255 women younger than 45 years old who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and compared them with 367 healthy women of a similar age.

The team evaluated interactions between breast cancer and severe life events — such as the loss of a parent, close relative or spouse, or the divorce of parents before age 20 — and mild to moderate life events — e.g., separation from a spouse, loss of a job, an economic crisis, or severe illness in a close relative.

After correcting for potentially influential variables, their analysis revealed a positive association between exposure to more than one adverse life event and breast cancer.

For these women, the risk of breast cancer was increased by 62 percent. “It wasn’t enough to be exposed to one life event, a woman had to be exposed to more than one event,” Peled said.

Read more at Reuters