The Management of Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: An Integrated and Expeditionary Approach

Teaching the Brain How to Counteract Distress: Practical Lessons About the Stress and Relaxation Responses for Women with Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Author(s): Katarzyna Rygiel * .

Pp: 118-128 (11)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815196023123010011

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


In spite of a very difficult situation, women with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) need to realize that some consequences of the cancer-related distress can be alleviated. Moreover, it is possible to counteract, to some degree, the damaging effects of this distress. In particular, the relaxation response, as the opposite, “calming version“ of the “typical” stress response can be achieved by a given patient with cancer, with some simple, intentional, and conscious efforts. In fact, modern stress management offers a whole armamentarium of tools and strategies that are necessary to reduce negative results of stress-related reactions. Since many warning signs of stress are connected with certain activities of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), it should be beneficial to patients to learn some basic information about the ANS functions. This chapter will explain how to elicit the relaxation response as the “common denominator” to counterbalance the “typical” stress response. It will also teach how to use diaphragmatic breathing, and the most feasible to adopt elements of the mindfulness-based interventions, as well as cognitive-behavioral approaches, to more effectively combat distress daily.

Keywords: Relaxation response, Stress response, Autonomic nervous system (ANS), Parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), Sympathetic nervous system (SNS), Diaphragmatic breathing, Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-based interventions (MBI), Meditation.

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