Effects of stress management on testosterone levels in women with early-stage breast cancer

Dean G. Cruess, Michael H. Antoni, Mahendra Kumar, Bonnie McGregor, Susan Alferi, Amy E. Boyers, Charles S. Carver, Kristin Kilbourn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We examined the effects of a 10-week, group-based cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention on serum testosterone levels in women with Stage 1 or 2 breast cancer. At 4 to 8 weeks postsurgery, participants were randomized to CBSM (n=24) or to a wait-list control group (n=10). Free and total testosterone was assessed via radioimmunoassay before and after the study period. The participants also completed a questionnaire assessing the degree to which living with breast cancer had led to social and emotional benefits in their life. We observed significant decreases in testosterone levels in the CBSM group and no change in the controls. Decreases in testosterone were related to increases in positive contributions. These findings suggest that a short-term psychological intervention can help modulate androgen functioning, and these changes are related to enhanced benefit finding observed among women with breast cancer participating in CBSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-207
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of behavioral medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001


  • Benefit finding
  • Breast cancer
  • CBSM
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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