About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Symptoms of Depression can Affect Survival of Head and Neck Cancer Patients

by Julia Samuel on January 22, 2018 at 3:50 PM
Font : A-A+

Symptoms of Depression can Affect Survival of Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Mild depressive symptoms can affect the survival of those with head and neck cancer.

Many patients diagnosed with head and neck cancer experience symptoms of depression, which can make it difficult for them to manage treatment side effects, quit smoking, or maintain adequate nutrition or sleep habits.

Advertisement


A team led by Elizabeth Cash, PhD, of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, was interested to see if depressive symptoms might also affect patients' health outcomes.

Patients should be screened and treated for depressive symptoms at the time of diagnosis. In addition, studies should examine parallel biological pathways linking depression to cancer survival.
Advertisement

The research team studied 134 patients with head and neck cancers who reported depressive symptoms during the planning of their treatment. When the investigators examined the patients' clinical data over the following two years, they found that patients with greater depressive symptoms had shorter survival, higher rates of chemoradiation interruption, and poorer treatment response.

"We observed that head and neck cancer patients who reported more depressive symptoms at their initial appointment were more likely to miss scheduled treatment appointments and were more likely to have tumors that persisted after medical treatment," explained Dr. Cash, who serves as the director of research for the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Communicative Disorders at UofL.

"We also observed that patients with depressive symptoms suffered greater two-year overall mortality rates, and this was especially true for those who did not achieve optimal response to medical treatment."

Poorer treatment response partially explained the depression-survival relationship; however, there were no significant effects from factors commonly used to determine cancer prognosis--such as the patient's age, the stage of tumor advancement, or extent of smoking history.

"This suggests that depressive symptoms may be as powerful as the clinical features that physicians typically use to determine the prognosis of patients with head and neck cancer," said Dr. Cash.

Dr. Cash noted that most patients in the study did not meet criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive disorder, suggesting that even mild symptoms of depression may interfere with head and neck cancer treatment outcomes. She also stressed that the findings need to be replicated in a larger study but suggest that depressive symptoms may affect head and neck cancer patients' survival through mechanisms that potentially coincide with the activities of their tumor.

"We want patients to know that it is normal to get depressed when they are diagnosed, but it is important to seek help for any depression symptoms because they may lead to poorer outcomes related to their cancer treatment," said Dr. Cash. She and her colleagues are hopeful that this information can facilitate discussions between patients and psycho-oncologists or behavioral oncology specialists to expedite the development of targeted behavioral interventions, which may have high potential to complement medical treatment efficacy.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
First-Ever Successful Pig-To-Human Kidney Transplantation
World Osteoporosis Day 2021 -
Spirituality and Mental Health
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Adolescence Depression Depression Cancer and Homeopathy Stress Relief Through Alternative Medicine Cancer Facts Andropause / Male Menopause Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Pregnancy and Complications Bereavement 

Recommended Reading
Head and Neck Cancers
Head and neck cancers usually occur in the squamous cells lining the moist, mucosal surfaces inside ...
Zalutumumab Prolongs Survival of Patients With Incurable Head and Neck Cancer
Head & Neck Cancer of squamous type that no longer responding to chemotherapy may respond to ......
HPV Antibodies Signal Better Prognosis for Head and Neck Cancer Patients
The presence of HPV antibodies in head and neck cancer patients is a good prognostic marker that ......
Death Rates in Head and Neck Cancer Reduced by Twice-Daily Radiation Therapy
Twice-daily radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy to treat head and neck cancer, could save ....
Andropause / Male Menopause
Andropause or male menopause causing low libido in a man is due to decreasing level of male hormones...
Bereavement
Bereavement refers to grief, pain and sadness following the loss of a loved one, especially during t...
Depression
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting approximately 340 million people in ...
Pregnancy and Complications
In-depth guide for expecting mothers to overcome health complications related to early or late pregn...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use