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04-05-2016 | Oncology | News | Article

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Mental disorder risk increase begins at cancer diagnosis workup

medwireNews: Research in JAMA Oncology highlights the need for psychological management and support as early during the course of cancer as the initial workup leading to a diagnosis.

The risk of mental disorders – including stress reaction/adjustment disorder, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and somatoform/conversion disorder– was significantly elevated among the 304,118 patients with cancer identified from the Swedish Cancer Register relative to the 3,041,174 age- and gender-matched controls from 10 months prior to cancer diagnosis (hazard ratio [HR]=1.1).

The risk was highest during the first week after diagnosis (HR=6.7); although the risk decreased at subsequent timepoints, it remained significantly higher for patients with than those without cancer at 10 years after diagnosis (HR=1.1).

A similar pattern in the risk of mental health problems was seen for all major tumour types, with the exception of nonmelanoma skin cancer, report Donghao Lu (Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden) and co-researchers.

They conclude that their “findings support the existing guidelines of integrating psychological management into cancer care and further call for extended vigilance for multiple mental disorders starting from the time of the cancer diagnostic workup.”

By Shreeya Nanda

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

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