Life, Lemons and Lemonade

Depression not as prevalent among cancer sufferers as thought

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) A new international study finds that cancer patients are not as depressed as one would assume.

A team of researchers from around the world looked at data from 94 studies involving more than 14,000 patients and found that only about one out of every six cancer patients suffer from depression, characterized by two or more consecutive weeks of hopeless, sad thoughts that impede daily function, including sleep and eating patterns.

The study found that about one-third of cancer patients suffer from a more widely defined mood disorder, however.

The research suggests depression is not inevitable in cancer patients and that only modest increases in rates of depression, along with anxiety, appeared within the first five years following diagnosis.

Depression was only prevalent in cancer patients when co-presented with another mood disorder, said researchers, which occurred in 30 percent of hospitalized cancer patients.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
January 28, 2011
Last Updated:
April 14, 2011