Depression is a common symptom that comes with patients suffering from lung cancer. During the journey from lung cancer diagnosis to its treatment, involves significant time and various treatment processes. Some patients get entangled in the vicious circle of depression. According to a new research, persistent depression can significantly harm lung cancer survival rate. Barbara Anderson, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University and her colleagues have assessed depression in 157 patients with advanced lung cancer at different periods of time. They analyzed at the time of diagnosis and every month for up to two years.
The team controlled for other factors that contribute towards lung cancer survival such as age, income levels, smoking status etc. They also controlled for various lung cancer therapies underwent by them in addition to key factors inquiring into mental state and lung cancer survival have not been previously assessed. The study showed what happens to depression levels after diagnosis and understanding how depression is related to premature death.
Their research has found that about 8% had moderate to severe depression, 28% had moderate depression and the remaining had milder depression. The results were published online recently in the Journal Psychosomatic Medicine. The team has also compared two patients who had comparable depression scores at diagnosis etc. According to their diagnosis, the projected chance of survival at one year was 64% for patients whose depression was improved as compared to 42% for those with depression worsened over the period of time.
Anderson said, “We need to help these patients, not only by diagnosis, but throughout treatment to take depressive symptoms out of the equation and let these impressive new therapies do their jobs.” “ This study shows that what happens to depression levels after diagnosis and in the months thereafter are key to understanding how depression relates to premature death,” she added.
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