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16-11-2016 | Oncology | News | Article

News in brief

Anxiety, depression medication use high in cancer survivors

medwireNews: Cancer survivors are twice as likely as the general US population to report use of medication for anxiety and depression.

This finding is “likely a reflection of greater emotional and physical burdens from cancer or its treatment,” say the researchers in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Of 3184 cancer survivors who completed the Sample Adult Core Questionnaire and the Adult Functioning and Disability Supplement of the National Health Interview Survey between 2010 and 2013, 16.8% reported taking anxiety medication. This was significantly higher than the 8.6% rate for the 44,997 adult participants with no history of cancer.

The use of medication for depression and for both conditions was similarly higher among cancer survivors than adults without cancer, at 14.1% versus 7.8% and 11.8% versus 6.1%, respectively.

“Placed in the context of previous research, which found that 31% of cancer survivors in the United Sates sought help for psychosocial concerns by discussing them with their medical provider, our estimate of medication use is more modest and could suggest that even more survivors might benefit from pharmacologic treatment than were receiving treatment at the time of this study,” conclude Nikki Hawkins (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA) and team.

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2016

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