, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 194-207

Effects of stress management on testosterone levels in women with early-stage breast cancer

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We examined the effects of a10-week, group-based cognitive-behavioral stressman-agement (CBSM) intervention on serum testosterone levels in women with Stage 1or 2 breast cancer. At 4 to 8 weeks postsurgery, participants were randomized to CBSM (n = 24) or to a wait-list control group (n = 10). Free and total testosterone was assessed via radioimmunoassay before and after the study period. The participants also completed a questionnaire assessing the degree to which living with breast cancer had led to social and emotional benefits in their life. We observed significant decreases in testosterone levels in the CBSM group and no change in the controls. Decreasesintes-tosterone were related to increases in positive contributions. These findings suggest that a short-term psychological intervention can help modulate androgen functioning, and these changes are related to enhanced benefit finding observed among women with breast cancer participating in CBSM.