Breast cancer study: Help from family, friends goes a long way - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Breast cancer study: Help from family, friends goes a long way

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COVINA, Calif. -

When Mary Nagy was diagnosed with breast cancer, the support from her husband, family and friends was vital.

"Just having those people behind me and knowing that they were there, it was doable," Nagy said.

Nagy needed two surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy, which took a heavy toll on the mother of two. "I truly thought Mary was going to die at one point," said Betty Pruszynski, Nagy's mom.

But they dealt with Nagy's cancer together. Her mom and her sister, Suzy Rice, helped with chores and errands. "It was always just pick up the boys for her, keep them for a while, bring her dinner if she needed it, or on a good day we go out shopping," Rice said.

"It would really take my mind off a lot of what was going on," Nagy said.

A new Kaiser Permanente study finds that close relationships can help breast cancer patients deal with pain and other physical symptoms better. "Having more friends and family engaged with you actually led to those women having a better quality of life, a better physical quality of life," said Dr. Joanne Schottinger, an Oncologist with Kaiser Permanente.

Dr. Schottinger says she takes social support into consideration when treating patients. "That we assess how much support they have and try to refer someone and help them if it looks like they need more," she said.

Nagy has been cancer-free now for more than seven years.

Suzy Rice: We did a lot of laughing.

Betty Pruszynski: We did.

Mary Nagy: We had to. Yeah, we still do.

Nagy celebrates each day with her mom and sister by her side.

Teresa Garcia - CBS News

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