Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cancer and mental health

Long-term cancer survivors have nearly double the risk of developing a serious mental-health problem. Researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston compared 4,636 people who had had adult onset cancer at least five years earlier with 122,220 people who had never had cancer. 5.6% of the cancer survivors were suffering from serious psychological distress compared to only 3% of those who had never had cancer. After taking medical and social factors into account the researchers found that psychological distress was more likely in survivors who were younger, unmarried, less well-educated, poorer, had other diseases as well as cancer, and who had difficulty in coping with basic tasks such as dressing themselves. A quarter of people who were under 45 at diagnosis and who had other health problems had serious psychological distress.

You can find more about this research at


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