Affiliations: [a] Área de Biología y Salud Integral, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico
| [b] Doctorado en Psicología, Instituto de Investigaciones Psicológicas, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico
| [c] Instituto de Salud Pública, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico
| [d] Departamento de Biología Celular y Fisiología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Coordinación de Psicobiología, Facultad de Psicología Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
| [e] Proyecto de Investigación Aprendizaje Humano, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, FES Iztacala, Mexico
| [f] Departamento de Inmunología, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico
Correspondence to. Tania Romo-González PhD., Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas, Dr. Luis Castelazo Ayala s/n, Col. Industrial Ánimas, Km. 2.5 carretera Xalapa-Veracruz, CP. 91190, México. Tel.: +52 228 8418900/Ext. 13401; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Breast cancer (BC) is one of the oncological diseases most frequently diagnosed in adult women worldwide. As with other cancer types, BC is thought to emerge after genetically susceptible stem epithelial cells display uncontrolled proliferation after being chronically exposed to stressful environmental conditions that may include altered hormonal profiles, metabolic status and/or surrounding environmental settings. This scenario, nonetheless, fails to recognize the role that psychological factors play on BC origin, progression and outcome. Accordingly, in the preceding work, we present data that supports that some psychological traits may predispose Mexican women to develop BC. In this complementary paper, we now explore the “relative weight” that emotional suppression and repression and stress symptoms have on the likelihood of women developing BC by establishing, through network analyses, the way these psychological traits interact with well accepted BC-risk environmental, genetic and physiological factors. Since in our model nodes represent personality traits and the links among them (i.e. the “activated” psychic pathways), Pearson’s correlation analyses were used to evaluate whether healthy networks are different among health-disease states. In addition, in order to study the associations with the clinical factors, an analysis of principal components (PC) and three multivariate models were constructed in order to determine with precision the psychological predictors of BC. Results show that the psychological traits, as expected, adopt a network organization, in which BC patients had the most disconnected distribution, followed by the Benign Breast Pathology (BBP) group. Breast pathology according to the resulting network seems to disconnect emotions from the stress response. Our results also show that the variance found between groups can only be explained by psychological traits, that is, in this sample only certain psychological traits increase the susceptibility to BC but none of the most recognized clinical factors do.
Keywords: Psychoneuroimmunology, psycho-oncology, personality, suppression of negative