Depressive patients had a 45 percent higher risk of death from all causes than those who were not depressed, revealed a new study.
A study conducted by researchers from the King's College analyzed 77,173 women in southeast England with breast cancer for up to 10 years. The findings were published in the Journal Psycho-Oncology
‘Low mood and depression are the prominent symptoms that increase risks of dying and reduce survival rates in women with breast cancer.’
Overall, 55 percent of women with a record of depression were alive five years after their breast cancer diagnosis compared with 75 percent with no depression history. It remained the same even after taking into account other factors that may have affected survival including age at cancer diagnosis, stage of cancer and socio-economic status.
"Clinicians generally know to look out for this, but these findings emphasise the need to ask patients with cancer about their mood and for women to know it's okay to ask for help. Greater social support or psychological interventions for women with breast cancer could help to reduce the negative effects amongst those most at risk of depression, " said Dr Elizabeth Davies, lead researcher.
Low mood and depression were understandable reactions to a breast cancer diagnosis. Depression-linked behaviours such as adopting a less healthy lifestyle, chronic stress or non-compliance with treatment may help explain this link, said researchers.