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Post-Surgery Colorectal Cancer Patients with Depression Recover Poorly

Posted on May 18, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Researchers from the Macmillan Cancer Support and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom are asking oncologists to take a closer look at their patients’ mental health. A recent study, published in PLOS One, found the mental health status of post-operative colorectal cancer patients plays a role in their chances of recovery.

The study, which will end around 2017, is following the lives of 1,000 colorectal cancer patients, all of whom underwent surgery. Researchers tracked the health and mental state of the patients before surgery (between 2010 and 2012) and are currently tracking many of the post-surgery patients to determine how depression affected their post-surgery recovery. One in five of the colorectal cancer patients suffered from depression at the time of diagnosis.

The depressed patients were more likely to be in poor health two years after they received surgical treatment for their cancer. Depressed patients were also 13 times more likely to have a poor quality of life following their surgery. Indicators of poor health and poor quality of life include difficulty walking around or getting out of bed and problems with thinking and memory.

The researchers are recommending oncologists screen their patients for other illnesses and mental health concerns. This screening may help doctors better treat the individual with a comprehensive plan of care. It can also help doctors tailor treatments for specific ailments, or select treatments that have a lower risk of further complicating side effects.

Cancer Can Cause Disability in Many Ways

Many Americans suffer from disability due to the side effects of cancer treatment, not just cancer itself. If you are battling cancer and can no longer work and earn a living, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Contact Disability Help Group at 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with one of our disability advocates.