Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Symptoms of Depression Signal Shorter Lives for People with Cancer

28.07.2003


A diagnosis of cancer carries such emotional upheaval that a person’s prolonged feelings of depression can eat away at the possibility for long-term survival. In a new study of cancer patients published in the current issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, researchers have found that people’s lives were more likely to be cut short when they had more symptoms of depression.



University of Rochester psychologist Kirk Warren Brown and co-authors used a number of demographic, medical, cancer treatment, and psychological factors to predict longevity in a group of 205 cancer patients over a 10-year period.

Among the psychological factors examined in this study on psychological distress and cancer survival were a variety of indicators of emotional state and coping, including positive and negative mood, anxiety, stress, sense of control, and depressive symptoms. After accounting for the effects of known demographic, medical risk, and cancer treatment factors, results showed that symptoms of depression were the most consistent psychological predictor of shortened survival.


Looking at psychological predictors of survival among individuals with cancer is a relatively new area of study, says Brown, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology. "We’re trying to understand the role of the mind in the disease process. The fact that depressive symptoms were shown to affect the course of cancer in this study has important implications for psychological screening and treatment of cancer patients."

The researchers suggested that the first year after cancer diagnosis would be an appropriate time to screen for symptoms of depression because, on average, levels of distress remained stable and relatively high in the patients studied. Referrals for intervention, such as psychotherapy, might be appropriate for patients with elevated levels of distress.

All 205 patients in the study were newly diagnosed with cancer (approximately 48 percent of the group had breast cancer). At the end of the 10-year follow-up period--a long time for this type of study--125 were still alive while 80 had died from cancer-related causes.

The role of a person’s mental state in cancer survival is considered controversial in the medical field, but Brown believes that the findings of this study, in conjunction with other research results, suggest that a "truly interdisciplinary approach" to treating the patient as a whole person is essential.

Brown’s co-authors on the study were Adrian R. Levy of the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver; Zeev Rosberger of the Division of Psychology of the Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital in Montreal; and Linda Edgar of the McGill University Health Center at the Royal Victorian Hospital in Montreal. The research was supported by the National Cancer Institute of Canada with funds from the Canadian Cancer Society.

Sharon Dickman | University of Rochester
Further information:
http://www.rochester.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>