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Depression Associated With Reduced Cancer Survival

By HERWriter Guide November 11, 2010 - 7:44pm

Cancer Council Australia is reporting on a new study about cancer survival. Research there has found that psychological factors may have a significant impact on the survival of people with cancer. The study measured survival rates against psychological factors, including hope, optimism, depression and anxiety, while controlling for other biomedical variables. It found there was a significant decrease in survival times for those with depression.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Associate Professor, Penelope Schofield, said the research suggested psychological factors played a potentially significant role in health related behaviours.

"It is likely that feeling either depressed or hopeful impacts a cancer patient's behaviours, with those high in hope more likely to seek information, second opinions, different treatment options and take better care of themselves than those who are depressed or anxious and feel they have no control over their illness," she said.

"This research highlights the importance of empowering cancer patients to be able make choices about their treatment and providing emotional support throughout their cancer journey," she said. The study did not find a relationship between optimistic thinking (simply believing there will be a good outcome) and survival.

What do YOU think of these findings? Have your doctors ever discussed the impact of depression with you or offered solutions to relieve depression? Do you think this matters?

(Full article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/207240.php)