Depression in cancer patients 'not treated effectively enough'

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

Not enough is being done to treat cancer patients with depression, according to a new UK study.

The research from the universities of Oxford and Edinburgh has revealed that around three-quarters of cancer patients who have major depression do not currently receive treatment for their mental condition.

“Major depression is common in cancer patients and is often undertreated, according to a new study.“

Analysing data from more than 21,000 patients attending cancer clinics in Scotland, it was observed that major depression is much more common in cancer patients than in the general population, particularly among those with lung cancer.

However, the study also indicated that a new technique - which combines the use of antidepressants and psychological therapy - could be effective in addressing this problem.

Dr Jane Walker from the University of Oxford and Sobell House Hospice in Oxford said: "This trial shows that we can effectively treat depression in patients with poor prognosis cancers like lung cancer and really improve patients' lives."

Depression is quite a common condition, affecting about one in ten people at some point in their lives.

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