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Depression, Anxiety Plague Ovarian Cancer Patients

Although cancer patients of all kinds are susceptible to anxiety and depression, a recent study concludes that such psychological illness may be especially severe, harmful and prevalent among women with ovarian cancer.

The recent study, presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, calculated the prevalence of depression and anxiety among ovarian cancer patients and also assessed how these illnesses affected women’s quality of life.

Researchers from the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center surveyed 243 women and found that 21% experience high levels of depression. As may have been expected, high depression levels were found mostly among women whose cancer has recurred or whose cancer was diagnosed recently.

Study authors concluded that doctors must strive to address patients’ emotional health and urged them conduct regular psychological assessments. The report also advocated the use of support groups and other psychosocial interventions which were found to reduce psychological stress.

Sources:

U.S. Newswire - March 23, 1999

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