Breast Cancer Survivors at Increased Risk of Depression, Anxiety

Breast cancer survivors might be more likely to suffer from mental health issues, says study.

Mind It
1 min read
Breast cancer survivors might me more likely to suffer from mental health issues, says study.

A study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, aimed to review the mental health of breast cancer survivors, and found that there was an increased risk of anxiety, depression, suicide, and neurocognitive and sexual dysfunctions in survivors compared with women with no prior cancer.

As reported in Reuters, lead author Helena Carreira, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said, “We already knew that women experience substantial psychological distress around the breast cancer diagnosis and during the main treatment period.”

Case studies were collected from different databases. Out of a total of sixty studies, 33 observed more depression in breast cancer survivors.

Breast cancer survivors also had statistically significantly increased symptoms of neurocognitive dysfunction (18 of 24 studies), sexual dysfunctions (5 of 6 studies), sleep disturbance (5 of 5 studies), stress-related disorders/PTSD (2 of 3 studies), suicide (2 of 2 studies), somatization (2 of 2 studies), and bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders(1 of 1 study each).

“There is a need for greater awareness that anxiety, depression and cognitive and sexual dysfunctions are common after breast cancer, and that treatments are available,” Carreira added.

Early detection and treatment of any mental health issues that arise is likely to help women better cope with the disease and its aftermath.

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