In Brief: Dec. 24, 2001

BOSOM BUDDIES Twelve years ago, researchers announced that breast-cancer patients who participated in support groups coped better and lived longer than those who didn't. The only problem: the subjects were almost all upper-middle-class white women in California. A larger, more comprehensive study now shows that support groups do not, in fact, prolong life--which may come as a relief to women who felt compelled to join them. But the sessions do help patients control pain and overcome the depression and anxiety that often accompany a breast-cancer diagnosis.

BOMBED Doctors used to think the main drawbacks of naltrexone, one of two drugs prescribed...

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