Cancer and Suicide
We are now recognizing that everybody can’t handle bad health news. New studies suggest a diagnosis of any kind of cancer is a certain signal for suicide in some patients. When patients lack poor supports, get bad information from family and friends the suicide rate for patients go up. The diagnosis of Cancer can be psychologically and emotionally overwhelming to the patient. It is very important that family members and caretakers maintain a close relationship with the patient and have some insight to recognize the symptoms of stress and server depression. The risk for suicide seems to be higher in the first 6 months to the first year of treatment. Elderly people, widowed patients, and men seem to be more at risk.
Signs of depression include a mood change, increase sleep, decrease appetite and withdrawal from family and friends.
Lung cancer patients seem to be more at risk because of the poorer survival rate when compared to other cancers such as breast, colon, prostate and pancreatic cancer.
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Thaddeus J. Bell, MD
I am Dr. Thaddeus John Bell, closing the gap in health disparities for African Americans and the underserved.
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