The prevalence of psychiatric morbidity, including depression and adjustment disorder, is reported to be approximately 30%-40% in patients with cancer. Despite evidence that many patients with cancer experience significant distress, access to effective psychosocial care is limited. The current system is lacking in several regards, there are no systematic approaches to assessment; there is a paucity of psychosocial services; and patients are reluctant to accept treatment either because of perceived stigma or difficulties with access to specialist psycho-oncology services due to isolation or disease burden. Both the high incidence of newly diagnosed psychiatric disorders during the first 3 years of cancer treatment, together with their persistence, should be actively considered when managing patients with cancer, particularly those with risk factors.
Last date updated on July, 2014