The overall aim is to define the association between psychological resilience and biomolecular signatures in cancer patients and to relate psychological resilience to prognosis, as this could potentially open up a novel avenue of therapeutic interventions, medical as well as psychosocial.
Individual patients differ in psychological response when receiving a cancer diagnosis, in this case breast cancer. Receiving a breast cancer diagnosis means a new and challenging situation that requires emotional regulation to regain equilibrium. Given the same disease burden, some patients master the situation well and others do experience a great deal of stress, depression and lowered quality of life. The patient’s psychological reaction after acquiring a threat, like cancer, called psychological resilience, is known to influence the outcome of the disease and in particular their ability to regain quality of life.
This project is an attempt to understand the relationship between psychological resilience, emotion regulation, bio-molecular fingerprints and quality of life. The purpose of the project is to concentrate the research on one part of the psychological Resilience, namely the ability to manage emotions and regain equilibrium when confronted with a life threat like cancer. The conceptualization of emotion regulation is to have the ability to identify, monitor and respond to external and internal experiences. Being able to and tolerate emotions and, above all, negative emotions could have an effect on psychological Resilience and thus provide a better quality of life. In the project, we will also investigate how high and low psychological resilience effects the bio-molecular processes, that is, if psychological resilience can be trace back to bio-molecular fingerprints.
This project will investigate the specific aspects of psychological resilience in relation to breast cancer. It is part of a large breast cancer projects and as such have access to a collected breast cancer cohort and clinical data, blood samples as well as data on resilience and QOL at base line and one year follow up. In summary the candidate will collect follow-up data, examine the relationship between resilience, emotion regulation, bio-molecular process and quality of life.