This study examined relationships of perceived stress (anxiety, sadness, anger and fear), and count of leucocytes and lymphocytes subsets in peripheral blood in two samples of patients with benignant (various non life-threatening diseases) and malignant (breast and colorectal carcinoma) diseases before and after the surgical operation. Blood draws were performed immediately after informing the patients about the histologically verified diagnosis and 14 days after the surgical treatment. Psychological measures (trait and state anxiety, sadness, anger and currently perceived fear caused by the illness) were assessed using self-rating scales at admission and after the diagnose confirmation. Count of leucocytes after the diagnose confirmation correlated positively with state anxiety and sadness. Cortisol level correlated positively with CD8+ T lymphocytes and negatively with CD4+ T lymphocytes. 14 days after the operation we found positive correlations between: 1) absolute count of T lymphocytes and state and trait sadness; 2) subset of CD4+ T lymphocytes and state anxiety, sadness, anger and fear; 3) count of leucocytes and trait anxiety. From obtained results it can be concluded that perceived psychological stress and reactivity of patients have long-term significant impact on immune system even in the patients with benign diagnoses.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.