London: People with depression are significantly less likely to recover well after treatment for colorectal cancer compared to those without depression, new research has found.
The new study showed that one in five colorectal cancer patients are depressed at the time of diagnosis.
These people are seven times more likely to have ‘very poor health’, which could include things like severe difficulty with walking around or being confined to bed, two years after treatment has ended compared to those without depression.
They are also 13 times more likely to have ‘very poor quality of life’, which could include problems with thinking and memory or sexual functioning.
“Our study has highlighted the importance of taking into account psychological factors when thinking about how best to support patients recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer,” said Claire Foster, professor at University of Southampton in Britain.
“We have shown that self-reported depression before cancer treatment starts predicts quality of life and health status during treatment and up to two years later,” Foster noted.
The findings based on an analysis of lives of more than a thousand colorectal cancer patients were published in the journal PLOS ONE.
“This research tells us that having depression has an enormous impact on how people live after their cancer treatment,” Jane Maher, joint chief medical officer of Macmillan Cancer Support, a Britain-based charity organisation, said.
“In fact, it affects their recovery more than whether or not they’ve been diagnosed early. We know that depression and anxiety often go hand in hand with cancer but now we can see the extent to which people are struggling to live with these illnesses,” Maher noted.