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Can Depression Cause Breast Cancer

F Individual Susceptibility And Personality

Cancer and Depression/Anxiety

Cancer is not a homogenous disease, as stressors are not generic and their effect is not identical. Individual susceptibility offers one of the explanations for the heterogeneous results in epidemiological studies. Ones particular manner of responding to stress brings frequently into discussion the idea of a genetic predisposition of stress induced cancer.

Personality is one of the potential risk factors investigated due to its stability in time.

After accepting the role of a type A or B personality in different diseases, the notion of a type C personality has more frequently been discussed. It is characterized by the incapacity of an emotional expression of anger and by the tendency of supporting the needs of others and ignoring their own. Women are shy, calm, less curious , and usually suppress their anger . Taking into consideration personality traits, the biopsy results have been correctly predicted in 75% of cases, and the discriminative analysis correctly identified 77% of women with cancer and 87% of women without cancer .

To summarize our research, the significantly large number of studies, as well as the impressive number of approximately 700,000 women analyzed, guarantees a comprehensive overview on the subject. Our results are consistent with those reported by other reviews and meta-analyses .

Study limitations

Clinical implications

Finding The Silver Lining

Left unaddressed, serious anxiety, depression, or other types of psychological distress may leave cancer survivors unable to tend to their health care needs, Dr. Syrjala and other experts said. People may stop following treatment recommendations or avoid going to recommended follow-up appointments.

But surviving cancer can also lead to positive changes in a persons life.

The flip side of psychological distress in survivors is post-traumatic growth, Dr. Syrjala said. The cancer experience may help survivors develop new strategies to manage emotional challenges, deepen their relationships with family or friends, and help them realize they have the strength to get through difficult situations. Surviving cancer may also lead people to re-evaluate their priorities and appreciate life more fully.

In addition, Dr. Smith said, Cancer survivors may choose more healthy behaviors, such as exercising more or quitting smoking, because they are interested in a healthier life overall.

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Study Design And Sample

This cross-sectional, observational study was done in a tertiary care hospital in Kerala, with a comprehensive cancer care unit including pain and palliative care and psycho-oncology units. This study was conducted from August 2014 to August 2016. The study population included patients aged above 18 years who were diagnosed with breast cancer and are undergoing surgery or chemotherapy or radiotherapy or a combination of therapies. Patients with a family history of mood disorder or other psychiatric disorder were included in this study.

Patients with current psychiatric disorders or cognitive deficits and with hearing or visual impairments were excluded from the study. The sample size was calculated with a prevalence of 22% reported by Hassan et al. in a study conducted among Malaysian breast cancer patients. The sample size was estimated to be 270 with 95% confidence and 20% allowable error. The patients were recruited through convenience sampling.

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Breast Cancer: How Your Mind Can Help Your Body

Emotional turmoil in response to a diagnosis of breast cancer can affect a persons physical health as well as psychological well-being.

Breast cancer: How your mind can help your body.

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 230,000 women in the United States learn that they have breast cancer each year.1 Because many of them have no family history of breast cancer or other known risk factors, the diagnosis often comes as a devastating surprise. The emotional turmoil that results can affect womens physical health as well as their psychological well-being.

This question and answer fact sheet explains how psychological treatment can help these women harness the healing powers of their own minds.

Depression Anxiety In Cancer Survivors: An Underrecognized Emotional Crash

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The successful completion of active treatment is an important milestone for anyone who has lived with cancer. However, being cancer-free does not always bring the peace of mind patients might expect.

Along with the physical remnants of treatment, cancer survivors often continue to grapple with anxiety and depression. In some cases, these feelings may even intensify after treatment.

We know from research that has been done on people transitioning to post-oncology treatment that they feel dropped,Catherine Alfano, PhD, vice president of cancer care management and research at Northwell Health Cancer Institute, said in an interview with Healio. Theyve had so much support during cancer treatment. They had their oncologist and oncology nurse and everyone who was looking out for them. They had friends and family rallying around them. That all pulls away when oncology treatment is done. Theyre basically told, OK, weve treated your cancer, now go live your life.

Alfano maintained that the logical way to manage anxiety and depression in cancer survivors is to recognize and address the problem during cancer treatment.

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Phase 6 Stress Stimulates Cancer Cell Growth And Metastases

During this final phase elevated stress hormone norepinephrine and epinephine levels, stimulate tumor cells to produce three compounds: MMP-2 and MMP-9 and the growth compound VEGF . Tumor cells make receptors for these stress hormones on their surface. MMP-2 and MMP-9 breakdown the structure of tumor cell walls making it easier for them to spread to other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. VEGF causes blood vessels to grow in new tumor cells, so that they can grow and spread more rapidly.

Every day, our bodies are exposed to cancer-causing agents in the air, food and water. Typically, our immune system recognizes those abnormal cells and kills them before they produce a tumor. There are three important things that can happen to prevent cancer from developing the immune system can prevent the agents from invading in the first place, DNA can repair the abnormal cells or killer T-cells can kill off cancer cells. Research has shown that stress can lower the bodys ability to do each of those things, according to Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., assistant professor of behavioral sciences at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. When emotional and physical stress decreases the bodys ability to fight disease, it loses the ability to fight cancer.

Primary Characterizes Of Studies

The obtained studies were conducted from 2001 to 2016 with the aim of determining depression in Iranian women with breast cancer. The age of women with breast cancer in selected studies ranged from 43.81 to 55.91 years. Also, minimum and maximum sample sizes were 60 and 297, respectively. Duration of cancer in most studies was about 1-2 years.

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What Does This All Mean

This research is some of the first to look at chemical changes in the brain, before and after cancer develops. As such, it provides tentative evidence that cancer cells in our bodies might trigger changes in our brains. And given the available evidence, its certainly plausible.

But as always, theres a long way to go before we can be sure. Although were all part of the same tree of life, rats and humans have rather different brains. And its always worth exercising a note of caution when interpreting the results of an experiment designed to measure an animals feelings or mood. As the authors themselves say,

Caution must be taken in extrapolating these data to cancer patients.

Nevertheless, the idea that a tumour in and of itself might be able to trigger depression is one that might, paradoxically, offer a crumb of consolation. Because one of the hardest feelings to shake is that a particular problem is ones own fault.

But it might turn out that feeling depressed about a diagnosis of cancer, or dreading that next round of chemo, isnt your own fault or weakness, but a treatable medical condition caused or at least made worse by abnormally growing cells releasing chemicals into your body.

And as we frequently point out on this blog with new scientific and medical discoveries, understanding how something occurs is the first step on the road to stopping it.


A New Concept Of Depression

Treat Comorbid Depression in Breast Cancer Patients

On the flip side, new research has also found that the cause of depression itself may not be what conventional researchers had originally thought. Investigations beginning in the 2000s found that neurological conditions such as depression may actually be a result of inflammation and infection.

A 2009 Brazilian study discovered that depressed individuals had a high level of inflammatory cytokines in their system, especially when they were at the height of a depressive episode. One of the jobs of these types of cytokines is to help mediate the neuroendocrine system and chemical communications for energy, mood and activity.

Of course, inflammation itself is a major risk factor for cancers of all types, including Breast Cancer. A report on the 2005 National Cancer Institute meeting on inflammation and cancer found that nflammation undoubtedly has an effect on the process of cancer metastasis.

Other NCI research has found that inflammation occurs at all stages of tumor development, including the initiation of a tumor, tumor progression and during metastasis.

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Can Stress Cause Breast Cancer To Recur Or Spread

While we’re not sure where we are at with cancer initiation, it appears that stress is a bad idea for people who have had breast cancer.

Researchers have looked at this from several angles, albeit mostly in cells in a dish or in rodents thus far.

From a biological standpoint it would make sense that stress could stimulate breast cancer to grow or spread. When we are stressed we release a hormone called norepinephrine, one of our “stress hormones.” Norepinephrine in turn may stimulate both the formation of new blood vessels by cancers and hasten metastasis . Other studies looking at something called “telomerase activity” also suggest that there could be a biological basis behind stress facilitating the recurrence or spread of cancer.

Does this translate to living creatures? For mice who were placed in a simulated stressful environment, their tumors were more likely to spread.

Studies in humans also seem to point a naughty finger at stress, though it’s more difficult to separate out confounding factors. In a fairly large study, women with some types of breast cancer lived longer if they participated in mindfulness stress reduction activities.

As a final note, we know that stress can cause insomnia. We’ve also learned that insomnia can be dangerous for people who have had cancer, having been associated with lower survival rates for women with some types of breast cancer.

Stress And Cancer Survival

What about stress and survival? Have any studies looked at the impact of stress not just on causing cancer or causing it to recur or spread, but on surviving?

From a gut feeling standpoint it would seem that feeling stressed would put a damper on survival, but would do the studies say? And as a second question, can reducing the stress in your life make a difference in how long you will live with breast cancer?

This is a difficult topic to study for researchers, and to date good studies are lacking.

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Having A Regular Sleep Routine

Establishing a regular sleep pattern can reduce fatigue. It can also help a person recover and support physical and mental well-being.

Tips for better sleep include:

  • going to bed and waking up at the same times every day
  • avoiding daytime naps, if possible
  • keeping the bedroom dark and at a comfortable temperature
  • leaving mobile phones and other devices outside the room at night

Why All The Worry

Cancer + Depression: It

Stress is an occupational hazard of living in the 21st Century. At low levels, we need it to give us the impetus to get out of bed in the mornings and put our best into whatever were doing. Our bodies react to stress by producing adrenaline. This fight or flight hormone travels through the blood to every nook and cranny of the body, preparing us for battle with the tribe from over the mountain, or flight from that sabre-toothed tiger.

Adrenaline raises your heart and breathing rates, pumping oxygen more effectively to your muscles. It diverts blood away from your gut to your brain and other vital organs. This ability to run faster and hit harder stood us in good stead when a life-threatening predator lurked around every corner. But all too often today it does more harm than good.

When stress levels rise too high or too long, we can become paralysed by anxiety. Its hard to see the wood for the trees, and making the smallest decision requires Herculean effort.

If everything makes you anxious to the extent that it interferes with your ability to function, you may be suffering from generalised anxiety disorder . 1 in 30-50 people are affected, with women suffering more often than men.

Teasing out GAD from normal anxiety can be difficult, but features include:

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Low Mood And Depression After A Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Most people experience some low moods and sadness after a diagnosis for breast cancer. Low mood usually improves after a few days, but if it doesnt then you could have depression.

Depression is a common condition that can have a broad range of symptoms, from feeling continuously low in spirits to having no will to live.

Some people become depressed because of the impact of breast cancer, such as:

  • dealing with the shock of diagnosis
  • ongoing physical effects

After treatment ends it can be made worse by:

  • missing the reassurance of being seen by your specialist team
  • people close to you expecting you to carry on with the life you had before breast cancer
  • feeling isolated
  • losing your sense of identity
  • your self-confidence having been affected
  • worries about breast cancer coming back

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Data Extraction And Quality Assessment

Two reviewers independently extracted the data from the included studies. The following details are presented in this review: first authors name, year of publication, country, participant number, age, time of assessment of depression, follow-up duration, depression/anxiety measurement, and adjusted major confounders.

All of the selected articles were examined in terms of quality based on the NewcastleOttawa Quality Assessment Scale for cohort studies . This semiquantitative scale uses a star system to assess the quality for eight items across three domains: selection , comparability , and exposure . In this meta-analysis, we graded quality as good , fair , or poor . Any discrepancy between the two reviewers was resolved by discussion with the third reviewer.

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How Does Psychological Stress Affect People Who Have Cancer

People who have cancer may find the physical, emotional, and social effects of the disease to be stressful. Those who attempt to manage their stress with risky behaviors such as smoking or drinking alcohol or who become more sedentary may have a poorer quality of life after cancer treatment. In contrast, people who are able to use effective coping strategies to deal with stress, such as relaxation and stress management techniques, have been shown to have lower levels of depression, anxiety, and symptoms related to the cancer and its treatment. However, there is no evidence that successful management of psychological stress improves cancer survival.

Evidence from experimental studies does suggest that psychological stress can affect a tumors ability to grow and spread. For example, some studies have shown that when mice bearing human tumors were kept confined or isolated from other miceconditions that increase stresstheir tumors were more likely to grow and spread . In one set of experiments, tumors transplanted into the mammary fat pads of mice had much higher rates of spread to the lungs and lymph nodes if the mice were chronically stressed than if the mice were not stressed. Studies in mice and in human cancer cells grown in the laboratory have found that the stress hormone norepinephrine, part of the bodys fight-or-flight response system, may promote angiogenesis and metastasis.

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Cancer Treatment and Depression/Anxiety

During a depressive episode, the individual experiences clinically depressed state of mind or a loss of pleasure or interest in tasks, for the majority of the day, almost daily, for at least 2 weeks. People who have a background of sleep disturbances, clinical ailment, chronic pain, stress and anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely to establish depression. Conflicting outcomes have actually does depression cause breast cancer occurred from researches that look at the performance of antidepressants in individuals with intense, mild to moderate depression. Likewise, a Cochrane systematic testimonial of professional tests of the common tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline concluded that there is strong evidence that its efficiency transcends to placebo. There are numerous therapy methods for major depression disorder.

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What The Patient Can Do

  • Talk about feelings and fears that you or family members have. Its OK to feel sad, angry, and frustrated, but dont take it out on those close to you. It’s important to listen carefully to each other, decide together what you can do to support each other, and encourage, but do not force, one another to talk.
  • Seek help through support groups and counseling.
  • Use mindfulness, prayer, meditation, or other types of spiritual support.
  • Try deep breathing and relaxation exercises several times a day.
  • Consider working with a professional counselor to deal with the changes in your life.
  • Ask about treatments for depression.

How Does Cancer Research Uk Evaluate Evidence

We regularly review new research on the causes of cancer to make sure our information is up to date and based on the best quality evidence. We develop our information by looking at lots of research carried out over many years. So, although new research comes out all the time, it is unlikely that one new study would change our position on a topic.

Some studies are better than others at telling us about how different factors affect cancer risk. These are some of the things we consider:

  • Did the study look at cells, animals or people?

Studies in animals and cells can help scientists understand how cancer works, but they cant always tell us how its relevant to humans. So we focus on studies in people.

  • How big is the study and how long did it go on for?

Studies on small numbers of people arent as reliable, because results are more likely to happen by chance. And studies that only follow people for a short amount of time can miss long-term effects. So we mainly look at studies that follow thousands of people over many years.

  • Did the study account for other factors that could affect someones cancer risk?

There are lots of factors that can affect someones risk of cancer. Studies should take known risk factors into account. For example, if a study is looking at air pollution and lung cancer, it should also look at whether participants smoked.

  • Where is the study published and who funded it?

How to find accurate information on cancer

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