Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shorten Life Depression Cancer Patients

Almost every cancer patient will experience emotional turmoil when I discovered she had cancer. Should be addressed immediately because your body has to face some physical challenges. Depression can hinder the healing process of cancer patients.

The experts at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center believes this may be associated with an abnormal stress hormone regulation and inflammation (inflammatory) gene expression. The results of this study was published on August 1, 2012 in PLoS ONE.

"Our findings indicate that mental and social health can affect biological processes, which affect the development of cancer," said the researcher, Lorenzo Cohen, in a news release.

"Research also shows that screening for mental health should be part of standard treatment, even to deal with life-threatening diseases," added Cohen.

To prove these findings, the researchers analyzed the survey was completed over a period of five years involving 217 patients newly diagnosed with kidney cancer that has spread.

The participants were asked to answer questions about how their spiritual life and religion. They also were asked about depressive symptoms, social support, quality of life and how to resolve the problem. In addition, participants were also asked five blood samples and saliva samples every day for three days.

The researchers used saliva samples to track changes in hormone levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that is usually higher in the morning.

Throughout the study, 64 percent of patients died. Most or the average patient can survive only 1.8 years after diagnosis. Overall, researchers found that 23 percent of patients experience clinical depression. Researchers assume that depression can lead to shorter patient survival.

The study results also showed that higher cortisol levels than normally associated with shorter survival among cancer patients. From here, the researchers concluded that the relationship between mental health patients and the survival time is related to the regulation of inflammatory genes.

Cohen says that although there is a relationship between depression and survival of cancer patients, it does not prove causality. "Further research is needed to investigate whether treatment of depression can improve the quality of life of cancer patients with mild mood disorders, moderate or severe," said Cohen.


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