Antidepressant use higher after cancer

By: Mohan Garikiparithi | Health News | Sunday, October 30, 2016 - 10:00 AM

Antidepressant use higher after cancerA new study has found there is a high usage of antidepressants after cancer. The study uncovered that treatment for depression and anxiety is twice as high among American cancer survivors, compared to the general population.

The researchers looked at over 3,000 cancer survivors of which 19 percent were treating depression or anxiety.

Lead researcher Nikki Hawkins said, “Overall, these findings are sobering. We’ve come a long way in treating cancer medically, but these data tell us cancer can take a serious psychological and emotional toll for many years, even after treatment is complete.”

Hawkins found that one in five cancer survivors are taking medications for depression and anxiety disorders which translates to about 2.5 million cancer survivors taking these medications.

“We know very little about how or when these rates got so high, whether these survivors’ mental health needs are being adequately treated, and how these rates of medication use will affect survivors’ health and well-being in the long run,” Hawkins continued.

Hawkins concluded, “We clearly have more work to do to better understand and treat the psychological and emotional burdens of cancer in addition to the physical effects of the disease.”


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Sources:

http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JCO.2016.67.7690

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