Navigation Links
Older Patients With Cancer at Heightened Suicide Risk
Date:8/12/2008

3 studies urge better management of patients' emotional distress to improve quality of life

TUESDAY, Aug. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients are at increased risk for suicide, according to three new studies.

In the first study, researchers at the University of Washington analyzed U.S. data from 1973 to 2002 and found that the suicide rate among cancer patients was 31.4 per 100,000 person-years, compared to 16.7 per 100,000 person-years in the general population.

Higher suicide rates were associated being male, white and older at the time of cancer diagnosis. Patients with the highest suicide rates were those with lung, stomach, oral/pharyngeal and larynx cancers. Suicide risk was greatest within the first five years after diagnosis but remained elevated for up to 15 years after diagnosis.

The second study found that older Americans with cancer are more than twice as likely to commit suicide as those without cancer. The Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School study compared 128 New Jersey residents, age 65 and older, who committed suicide between 1994 and 2002 and 1,280 living people in the same age group.

The suicide risk was 2.3 times higher among cancer patients than among those who were cancer-free. This increased risk held true even after the researchers adjusted for age, sex, race, medical and psychiatric illnesses, and use of prescription medications.

The cancer patients in the study who committed suicide were more likely to have advanced metastatic disease, and two-thirds of them used a firearm to commit suicide. Most of the patients who committed suicide had seen a physician in the month before their death, and 25 percent had seen a doctor within a week before their suicide.

A third study by researchers at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom found that cancer patients are at increased risk for suicidal thoughts. The survey of 2,924 cancer patients receiving outpatient care found that nearly 8 percent reported suicidal thoughts persisted for at least several days over the previous two weeks. A similar survey of the general population in Australia found that only 2.6 percent of respondents reported having similar thoughts.

The University of Edinburgh team found that suicidal thoughts among cancer patients were associated with having substantial emotional distress or pain, but not with cancer severity. Better management of patients' emotional distress and pain may improve quality of life and reduce suicide risk, the researchers concluded.

The research was published online Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

More attention needs to be given to suicidal thoughts and attempts by cancer patients, Dr. Timothy Quill, a professor of medicine, psychiatry and medical humanities at the University of Rochester Medial Center, said in an accompanying editorial.

"It is important to ask about suicidal thoughts regularly, especially when disease is worsening, symptoms are increasing, or the patient is entering a more serious phase of illness ... Creating an environment where these issues can be openly explored without being judged is critical," Quill wrote.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about cancer and depression.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Oncology, news release, Aug. 11, 2008


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Ability to cope with stress can increase good cholesterol in older white men, study finds
2. Many Older Americans Have Active Sex Lives
3. Good Cholesterol Wont Help Heavy-Drinking Older Men
4. Manor Care, Inc. Announces Record Date for Special Stockholder Meeting
5. Arrow International Urges Shareholders To Vote for Approval of the $45.50 Teleflex Inc. Merger and for the Current Board of Directors
6. Frequent alcohol consumption increases cancer risk in older women
7. Zimmer Holdings Offer and ORTHOsoft Directors Circular Mailed to Shareholders
8. ISS and Glass Lewis Recommend Cholestech Stockholders Vote FOR Merger
9. Glass Lewis Recommends Arrow Shareholders Vote on the White Proxy Card for Merger With Teleflex and for Current Board of Directors at Arrow Annual Meeting
10. Drug-free treatments offer hope for older people in pain
11. United Medicorp, Inc.s Shareholders Approve All Proposals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ... , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. ... Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include ... in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin ... injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his ... of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World ... with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center ... with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited ... To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016  MedSource ... platform as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  ... the best possible value to their clients by ... nowEDC.  The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the ... pricing for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that it ... (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for people ... Roche is the first IVD company in the U.S ... assessment and management. PCT is a sepsis-specific ... blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... 9:00 a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , ... kayla.belcher@frost.com ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  ... Sciences, Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: