Tags: Health Topics | Cancer | cancer | depression | anxiety | death

Does Depression Increase Risk of Cancer Death?

Does Depression Increase Risk of Cancer Death?

(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 26 January 2017 09:19 AM

Those who suffer from anxiety or depression may have a greater risk of getting terminal cancer, a new study has found.

Researchers based their study on 163,363 people in the United Kingdom (55 percent were women) who were followed for 14 years (from 1994 to 2008).

The BMJ reported researchers results, which showed that 4,353 people died from cancer during this period, which translates into a 32 percent greater chance of dying from cancer.

The researchers point out that "The influence of psychological distress on processes acting at [various] disease stages could therefore influence the risk of cancer mortality. Prolonged immune dysregulation can compromise the repair capacity of the exposed cells, potentially contributing to genetic instability and mutations, [and] alterations in DNA repair.”

They caution that the link was not evidence that depression causes cancer. In fact, it might be that having cancer spurs changes in the body that could well lead to depression.

However, their results align with previous studies that confirm stress can reduce the body's immune function and can lower the body's ability to ward off sickness and possibly prevent cancer from developing. Further, previous studies have shown that psychological distress can provoke inflammatory responses.

The researchers also point out "health-seeking behaviors might also be important, perhaps at a later stage in the disease process," meaning "people who are distressed might be less likely to comply with requests for screening, resulting in a delayed diagnosis, and, once cancer is diagnosed, depression might hamper adherence to treatment."
 

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Those who suffer from anxiety or depression may have a greater risk of getting terminal cancer, a new study has found.
cancer, depression, anxiety, death
249
2017-19-26
Thursday, 26 January 2017 09:19 AM
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