Diseases can compromise the mental health of not only affected patients but of their closest relatives as well. Partners in particular are at risk because they may feel stressed and may be deprived of emotional, social, and economic support. A few small studies have suggested that partners of cancer patients often develop major psychosocial problems; however, data on partners' risk for severe depression is limited.
Christoffer Johansen MD, PhD, DSc (Med), of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, Denmark, led a team that analyzed how frequently male partners of women with breast cancer are hospitalized with affective disorders, which include major depression, bipolar disease, and other serious mood-altering conditions. The researchers reviewed data from 1,162,596 men who were 30 years or older, resided in Denmark, had no history of hospitalization for an affective disorder, and had lived continuously with the same partner for at least five years.
During 13 years of follow–up, breast cancer was diagnosed in the partners of 20,538 men. One hundred eighty of these men were hospitalized with an affective disorder. Men whose partners were diagnosed with breast cancer were 39 percent more likely to be being hospitalized with an affective disorder compared with men whose partners did not have breast cancer. In addition, men whose partners had severe cases of breast cancer were more likely to be hospitalized than men whose partners had less severe cases. Men whose partners experienced a relapse were also more likely to develop an affective disorder than those whose partners remained cancer-free. Men whose partners died after breast cancer had a 3.6-fold increased risk of developing an affective disorder compared with men whose partners survived.
"A diagnosis of breast cancer not only affects the life of the patient but may also seriously affect the partner," said Prof. Johansen. "We suggest that some sort of screening of the partners of cancer patients in general and of those of breast cancer patients in particular for depressive symptoms might be important for preventing this devastating consequence of cancer." Prof. Johansen also advocates for integrating spouses in the clinical treatment of cancer.
Article: "Increased risk for severe depression in male partners of women with breast cancer." Naoki Nakaya, Kumi Saito–Nakaya, Pernille Envold Bidstrup, Susanne Oksbjerg Dalton, Kirsten Frederiksen, Marianne Steding–Jessen, Yosuke Uchitomi, and Christoffer Johansen. Cancer; Published Online: September 27, 2010 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.25534).
Author Contact: To arrange an interview with Professor Johansen, please contact Jytte Dreier of the Department of Communication at The Institute of Cancer Epidemiology on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Molnar | EurekAlert!
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy