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Juárez García, D. M., Landero Hernández, R., González Ramírez, M. T., & Jaime Bernal, L. (2016). Diurnal cortisol variation and its relationship with stress and coping strategies in women with breast cancer. Acta Colombiana De Psicología, 19(1), 103–112.

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Diurnal cortisol rhythm is affected in patients with cancer. Factors such as disease progression and stress levels are regarded as possible causes of this condition, however results are not clear. The aim of this study was to assess and determine whether there are differences in cortisol levels in women with breast cancer in different stages and analyze the relationship between cortisol levels and stress, optimism and coping strategies. Salivary cortisol samples were collected for two days and psychological questionnaires of perceived stress (PSS), dispositional optimism (LOT-R) and coping strategies (MAC) were administered to 17 breast cancer women in stage I, II and III of the disease. The results show that patients with breast cancer in the three stages have a normal diurnal cortisol rhythm and do not differ significantly in cortisol levels. Regarding the psychological variables, they differ only in the optimism. Coping strategies such as fighting spirit and cognitive avoidance are the variables that have more influence on the cortisol levels, explaining 55% of variance. The implications of these results are discussed.



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