The current meta-analysis presents fairly consistent evidence that depression is a small but significant predictor of mortality in cancer patients. Estimates were as high as a 26% greater mortality rate among patients endorsing depressive symptoms and a 39% higher mortality rate among those diagnosed with major depression. There is no evidence that the effect weakens when adjustments are made for other known risk factors, suggesting that depression may be an independent risk factor in cancer mortality, rather than merely correlating with biological factors associated with a poor prognosis.
- increased sense of helplessness and lose the will to live
- reduced willingness to adhere to medication regimes