The Danger of Doubling: Depression’s Impact on a Cancer Diagnosis « candidaabrahamson

Some sobering information on depression and cancer in terms of how it can affect outcomes.

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.

Possible reasons:

  • increased sense of helplessness and lose the will to live
  • reduced willingness to adhere to medication regimes

The Danger of Doubling: Depression’s Impact on a Cancer Diagnosis « candidaabrahamson.

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3 thoughts on “The Danger of Doubling: Depression’s Impact on a Cancer Diagnosis « candidaabrahamson

  1. The only thing that surprised me about this study is that the numbers weren’t even higher. It wouldn’t surprise me if one day they find that not only is depression ‘an independent risk factor in cancer mortality” but a contributing factor in some cancers even developing much the way depression is known to lead to cardiology issues in some people.

  2. Depression is a huge stopping factor in emotionally recovering from cancer, and it’s certainly something that needs to be addressed. Both during and after treatment, people ought to know they are supported – whether this means referrals to the councillor, aligning them with support communities, and/or giving them a space to talk (blogs are great for this, as we’ve seen on our page).

    It’s a heavy weight that makes cancer almost impossible to carry. Thanks for raising the issue, hopefully with more conversation, patients will start being linked with the many services out there for their support.

    Catherine
    http://www.FacingCancer.ca

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