Psychological distress in patients with a diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or early invasive breast cancer (EIBC) can emanate from perceived risk of recurrence and is accompanied by perceived risk of death from the diseases. These factors can impart a lower quality of life that can result in poorer health outcomes. In addition, inaccurate risk perceptions can have an effect on decision making, psychosocial outcomes, and subsequent health behaviors. The purpose of this study is to assess patients with DCIS and EIBC and their perceived risk of recurrence and perceived risk of dying, and evaluate their outlook for the future, the degree of social support from spouses and significant others of patients who have been diagnosed with DCIS and EIBC, and the relationship to the patient's perceived risk perception of recurrence and dying from the diseases.
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