Cancer survivors are at an increased risk for psychosocial distress

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According to findings from an analysis of responses from almost 127,000 participants involved in a national health interview survey, which was conducted by the US Census Bureau, cancer patients who survive at least five years are more likely to experience psychological distress compared to those without cancer. As compared to those who have never suffered cancer, long-term cancer survivors were 40% more likely to experience serious distress, according to Karen E. Hoffman, M.D., of Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues. The authors commenting on the findings wrote, “Prompt diagnosis and treatment of mental distress can have a positive impact on the functioning, quality of life, and overall well-being of survivors.” The study, which was published in the July 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that out of the 127,000 participants, 4,636 participants had been diagnosed with cancer for at least five years; the other 122,220 respondents had been cancer free. “The increased risk of serious psychosocial distress and the need to screen for it should be communicated to the primary care physicians and other providers…” they added. Click here to read an article from Reuters that discusses the study further.

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