Positive Outlook May Not Prolong Life in Cancer Fight

"They really make it seem like if you're not positive, then you're failing. And that's just not true," she said. "You're going to go through the down times and there's no way you're not going to feel depressed. You've just got to struggle to get back up."

Fellow group member Carol Parmer, who, for the past two years has lived with breast cancer that has spread to her bones, said fellow members of the Y-Me support group have been her lifeline.

"It can be very isolating, very lonely in a way, 'cause there are people who tend to want to pull away. With the support group, there's a sisterhood that exists, " she said.

The new study did show that while women in support groups may not live longer, they do suffer less pain and are better able to cope with their illness. Jan Kuba found another important benefit.

"I'm not in the support group to increase my life. I have no way of knowing how long my life will be," Kuba said. "The only think I know is it gave me hope."

Web Resources: Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization: www.y-me.org

Gilda's Club: www.gildasclub.org/

The Wellness Community: www.thewellnesscommunity.org/

Cancer Supportive Care: www.cancersupportivecare.com/

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