Medindia

X

Cancer Diagnosis Raises Risk of Fatal Heart Attack, Suicide

by VR Sreeraman on  April 6, 2012 at 2:07 PM Cancer News   - G J E 4
A Swedish study has found that cancer diagnosis elevates risk of suicide or fatal heart attack in the days and weeks that follow.
 Cancer Diagnosis Raises Risk of Fatal Heart Attack, Suicide
Cancer Diagnosis Raises Risk of Fatal Heart Attack, Suicide
Advertisement

"Previous studies have shown that cancer patients are at higher risk of suicide and cardiovascular disease, which up until now has mainly been ascribed to the emotional strain of living with the potentially fatal disease and the often physically demanding cancer treatment," the Karolinska Institute said in a statement.

Advertisement
"Newly published data on patients with prostate cancer suggest, however, that being given the diagnosis may, in itself, be associated with a marked increase in the stress-related disease and death," it said.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, followed more than six million Swedes from 2001 to 2006, including more than 500,000 who were diagnosed with cancer during that period.

"Only a small proportion of patients committed suicide immediately after being diagnosed with cancer. However, the suicide risk during the first week following the diagnosis was twelve times higher than in people without cancer," the Karolinska said.

"Similarly, the risk of cardiovascular death was six times higher during the first week and three times higher during the first month after a cancer diagnosis, compared to people without cancer," it said.

The risk was greatest in malignant cancers with a poor prognosis, such as lung and pancreatic cancers, and least pronounced in skin cancer, it added.

The fact that the risk decreased in magnitude over time "supports the conclusion that the risk increase may be traced to the diagnosis itself rather than the emotional or physical suffering related to progression of the cancer or its treatment," it said.

Doctor Fang Fang of the Karolinksa Institute, who led the study, said the researchers hoped their findings may lead to improvements in the care of newly diagnosed cancer patients.

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All