Breast Cancer Outcomes Influenced by Depression

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Recent research published in Psychology and Health concluded that certain factors such as marital status, having children in the home, income level, and age affect the probability of depression among breast cancer survivors that in turn, affects the likelihood of failure to adhere to the medical regimes causing potential complications. The researcher studied who is more likely to be distressed following a breast cancer diagnosis and when depressive symptoms are most likely to occur during the course of treatment. During the year following treatment single women and women with children in the home were more likely to be depressed and these women may need additional support during this period.
Women of different income levels seemed to have similar levels of increased depression during treatment but these symptoms decreased in women of higher incomes in the year following treatment. Younger cancer survivors had more depression during treatment than older women but reported levels similar to the older women following treatment. The researcher believes that identifying these factors that influence depression in cancer survivors is an important part of the prognosis since this can influence the treatment regime and outcome of the disease.

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