According to the data obtained by scientists from the University of Texas, depression is a significant factor affecting survival and occurrence of relapses in patients with head and neck cancer, and is associated with increased risk of death from lung cancer, breast cancer, ovarian and kidney.
The results of the work of scientists published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine represents one of the largest discoveries of the impact of depression on the course of cancer.
A study of 130 patients, the researchers concluded that depression is the only factor having a significant effect on the probability of survival of cancer patients: five years of depressed patients survived 3.5 times less frequently than those with symptoms of depression. Moreover, each additional score on a scale of depression increased the risk of death by 10%, and among depressed patients the risk of relapse was higher in 4 times.
According to the study, alcohol, Smoking and even the presence of HPV infection had a similar impact on the survival of patients, however, those who had never smoked, 73% less risk to experience a relapse.
Scientists believe that a possible explanation for the results could be a way of life associated with depression and different biological response to chronic inflammation associated with the occurrence of cancer. They recommend that all patients seek medical help in case of depression.