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Depression at the patients' diagnosis with cancer
© Hashorva et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2008
Published: 17 April 2008
Cancer is the second likeliest cause of mortality in Greece. There are 3.500-4000 new cases per year. The literature suggests that major depression is present in 25% of cancer patients.
Materials and methods
We interviewed 100 patients with different types of cancer and 100 healthy people without cancer as a control group (January-Jul 2005). The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale was used to quantify depression severity.
41% of the patients fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for Major Depressive Disorder according to DSM-IV-TR in comparison with only 4% of the control group control. This significant difference suggests that cancer is significantly related to the development of depression. The severity of depression is not related to the type of cancer or to gender. However there was a strong relationship between depression and age.
Depression is an important problem in patients with cancer and intense treatment is necessary.
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