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Lifestyle may affect chances of depression in breast cancer patients

Lifestyle may affect chances of depression in breast cancer patients
3rd November 2011

Marital status, having children in the home, income levels and age affect the likelihood of depression in breast cancer survivors, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the University of Missouri have discovered that life-factors can affect the chances of depression in breast cancer survivors, in addition to likelihood of adherence to medication regimens, which can potentially complicate treatments.

Professor Ann Bettencourt, lead author of the study, stated: "Many women receive strong support following their initial diagnoses of and treatment for cancer, but then the social support can wane.

"Our findings suggest that both single women and mothers with children in the home may need additional support."

Depression is also thought to affect the chance of survival among cancer patients.

The increased risk is thought to not be subject to other clinical characteristics of a person's condition that may affect mortality.

To combat the problems caused by depression, systematic screening for psychological distress and subsequent treatments are advocated by experts.

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