Trait anxiety (T-Anxiety) was assessed using the subscale from the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory test (STAI form Y-2), with statements refering to how a person generally feels, and a higher total score reflecting a higher T-Anxiety. To the authors' knowledge, the associations between the STAI test and the risk of breast cancer (BC) are rarely considered together in a prospective study.
In an extension of the Kuopio Breast Cancer Study 115 women with breast symptoms were evaluated for anxiety using the STAI form Y-2 test before any diagnostic procedures were carried out.
The clinical examination and biopsy showed BC in 34 patients, benign breast disease (BBD) in 53 patients and 28 individuals were shown to be healthy study subjects (HSS). There was a trend for the HSS women to have less severe anxiety in the STAI test (1/28 patients, 3.6%) than those in the BBD (7/53 patients, 13.2%) and BC groups (4/34 patients, 11.8%). The subjects in the HSS group reported being significantly more happy in the STAI test (STAI mean score, 1.54) than the BBD group (STAI mean score, 1.98) and the BC group (STAI mean score, 2.00) (p=0.01). The subjects in the HSS group also reported being more content in the STAI test (STAI mean score, 1.68) than the BBD group (STAI mean score, 1.87) and the BC group (STAI mean score, 1.97).
Patients with BC and BBD tend to have more unhappy and uncontent feelings, but no specific link between the STAI test (form Y-2) and breast cancer risk is supported.