Cancer Survivors More Likely to Take Medicine for Depression, Anxiety: Study

Posted by North Texas Cancer Center at Wise on February 19th, 2017

Beating cancer is a great personal victory that thousands of Americans are able to claim on any given day. This status, however, doesn’t come without its own share of potential worries. After all, just because cancer has been beaten doesn’t mean it won’t return. What’s more, some cancer treatments can leave patients feeling changed with certain treatment side effects likely to last for long periods of time or even indefinitely.

The toll cancer takes on a person affects more than the body. It may also impact psychological well-being in both the short- and long-term. The potential psychological cancer-related side effects were zeroed in on during a recent study that determined cancer survivors are more than twice as likely than members of the general population to take medications to control the symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. The study resulted from a cross-sectional analysis of national surveys that queried nearly 50,000 adults, including more than 3,000 cancer survivors. Researchers ultimately found that cancer survivors were about twice as likely to self-report taking medications for depression or anxiety than other survey respondents. Many also suffered from both conditions.

The study builds on a growing body of evidence that shows psychological concerns do go hand-in-hand with cancer treatment. Previous research has shown that more than 30 percent of cancer survivors discuss psychological issues with their healthcare providers.

Researchers involved with the medication study noted the rate of anxiety and depression among cancer survivors as a serious concern. Not only can these conditions sideline a patient’s life, but they may also spark an inflammatory response in the body that may impact future health. In addition, people who suffer from anxiety and/or depression may not follow through with routine care that’s critical for maintaining health.

Cancer is estimated to impact an estimated 1.7 million Americans each year. About 500,000 Americans die cancer-related deaths annually. Courtesy of medical advances, more people are surviving cancer on a regular basis. Concerns about psychological health must be addressed as a result, the study’s authors urge.

People who are diagnosed with cancer are strongly urged to talk to their doctors about all treatment-related side effects. This recommendation includes concerns related to depression and anxiety. Should these concerns arise post-treatment, people should seek medical advice. Clinical depression and anxiety if left untreated can dramatically impact everyday life and may pose risks for cancer survivors’ continued health. Medications are available to help treat these conditions as are other options, such as therapy. There is no need to face anxiety or depression without assistance.

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North Texas Cancer Center at Wise, a division of Choice Cancer Care, is now operating as the Cancer Center at Wise Regional and is one of the most renowned cancer treatment centers in Texas.

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North Texas Cancer Center at Wise

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North Texas Cancer Center at Wise
Joined: February 24th, 2016
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