Monday, April 16, 2012

Cancer Can Lead to Death in Sometimes Unexpected Ways

People who have been diagnosed with cancer have a markedly increased risk of suicide and cardiovascular death during the period immediatley after being given the diagnosis, reported Swedish and Icelandic researchers April 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine. They had followed more than 6 million Swedes for a five-year period.

Only a small proportion of subjects died by suicide immediately after being diagnosed with cancer. However, the suicide risk during the first week following the diagnosis was 12 times higher than in people without cancer. Similarly, the risk of cardiovascular death was six times higher during the first week, and three times higher during the first month, after a cancer diagnosis.

More information about the mental health sequelae of cancer, as well as a psychiatrists account of his cancer battle, can be found in Psychiatric News .

(Image: Lisa S./ 


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