Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Symptoms Of Depression Signal Shorter Lives For People With Cancer

Date:
August 1, 2003
Source:
University Of Rochester
Summary:
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.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Rochester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Rochester. "Symptoms Of Depression Signal Shorter Lives For People With Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030728081210.htm>.
University Of Rochester. (2003, August 1). Symptoms Of Depression Signal Shorter Lives For People With Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030728081210.htm
University Of Rochester. "Symptoms Of Depression Signal Shorter Lives For People With Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030728081210.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins