Depressed Women Less Likely to Get Best Breast Cancer Care

A new study shows that women suffering from depression are less likely to get the best breast cancer care they need to prolong their lives. It included 45,000 Danish women over a time span from 1998-2011. 13% had been taking anti-depression medication and 2% had been to a hospital to be treated for depression. When compared to the women who have not had depression it showed that the woman with depression had not gotten the proper treatment they needed after being diagnosed with breast cancer. 13% of those women died of breast cancer compared to 11% of women who were not taking anti-depressants. It showed that these women seemed to receive a lower standard of health care. That part is still a mystery as to why the are not receiving the same referrals that women not suffering from depression get.

Key Points:

  • 1Breast cancer patients with a history of depression are less likely to receive recommended care for their disease, a new study finds.
  • 2Compared with those who never took antidepressants, patients who used antidepressants were much less likely to receive recommended breast cancer treatments and had shorter overall survival, according to Dr. Nis Suppli, of the Danish Cancer Society Research Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues.
  • 3In addition, the researchers found that antidepressant use was tied to shorter breast cancer-specific survival: five years after cancer diagnosis, 13 percent of patients who used antidepressants had died of breast cancer, compared to 11 percent of those who never took the drugs.

Findings suggest that women with prior depression may be vulnerable to receiving sub-standard breast cancer care.

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