A Review on Depressive Disorders in Cancer Patients

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A Review on Depressive Disorders in Cancer Patients

September 11, 2021 Health Research 0

Cancer transitions from a deadly condition to a chronic one. This viewpoint has widened the scope of treatment from just treating the disease to also managing cancer-related symptoms, such as mental problems. Affective disorders (depression and anxiety) are the most common types of concomitant mental illness in cancer patients. While there is no proof that depression causes cancer, it may have an impact on the disease’s progression and a person’s capacity to participate in therapy. Depressive syndromes are linked to a lower quality of life, more difficulties managing disease progression, and earlier admission to inpatient or hospice care.

An adjustment disorder with low mood, also known as reactive depression, is the most frequent form of depressive symptomatology in cancer patients. It is often under-recognized and under-treated. Severe depressive symptoms are of clinical concern since they are linked to higher distress, longer hospital stays, physical disorders, poorer treatment compliance and adherence to therapy, disability, and an increased desire for premature death or suicide. Suicidal remarks might range from a casual remark made out of irritation or dissatisfaction with a treatment plan to a serious expression of despair in a life-threatening situation.

Due to the difficulties in differentiating biological or physical symptoms from symptoms of sickness or toxic side effects of treatment, diagnosing depression is challenging. Recognizing the presence of depression and determining the right level of assistance, which can range from brief counselling or support groups to medication and/or psychotherapy, is an important element of cancer care. At least half of all cancer patients will be able to adjust successfully. Whether or whether a patient satisfies the diagnostic criteria for major depression, pharmacotherapy for depression in advanced cancer patients should be directed by a focus on symptom reduction. Each patient’s depressive symptom profile and potential dual benefit for depression and cancer-related symptoms such as anorexia, sleeplessness, fatigue, neuropathic pain, and hot flashes can help choose the best antidepressant for them. Tricyclic/heterocyclic antidepressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, and reversible inhibitors of monoamine oxidase A are rarely used in cancer patients due to their poor impact profiles and risk of mortality in overdose. Depression must be diagnosed and treated promptly and accurately in order to improve quality of life while also reducing negative impacts on cancer progression, length of hospital stay, treatment adherence and efficacy, and possibly prognosis and survival.

Author (S) Details

I. Chernicova
State Medical University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

S. Savina
Medical Center “Hippocrates”, Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

B. Zaydiner
Cancer Center, Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

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