Link between cancer and depression

Interesting article in ScienceNow magazine on the link between cancer and depression. Jennifer Couzin-Frankel writes:

 ” It’s no surprise that a life-threatening disease such as cancer can make you depressed. But what if tumors themselves are causing the depression? That’s what a new study in rats suggests. Animals with breast tumors showed depressivelike behaviors and anxiety even though, unlike humans, they weren’t aware of the psychological burden that comes with serious illness.

Up to 60% of women with breast cancer also have depression, and that figure generally holds true for other cancers. In addition to the worry and fear, a few studies suggest that treatments like chemotherapy can trigger an inflammatory cascade that’s linked to depression, social isolation, and related symptoms. But no one had focused on the impact of tumors themselves for one very simple reason: It’s hard to tease apart the psychological burden of cancer, the effects of treatment, and the biochemical effects of the disease.”

You can read this article in full here

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