alexa Abstract | Depression and Pancreatic Cancer: A Poorly Understood Link

JOP. Journal of the Pancreas
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Abstract

Although pancreatic carcinoma and depression have been linked for many years, the prevalence and relationship of these two entities are still poorly understood. Published studies reviewing this issue have found that many patients with pancreatic cancer are depressed. A clinical gestalt asserts that many patients present with depression before pancreatic carcinoma is diagnosed. If the definition of depression is broadened to include mild depression in addition to major depression, these numbers may increase. Depression in pancreatic cancer is a condition that must be diagnosed and treated, as studies have shown that depression is a detrimental factor in the last stages of life of cancer patients as patients with high score of depression have worse survival rates in breast and hepatobiliary cancers. Treatment for depression has also been shown to impact quality of life and may bring increased comfort during end of life. This article reviews the literature linking pancreatic carcinoma to depression as well as the appropriate therapeutic approach. In addition, for the first time, it fully underlines the key role of a social worker as a key participant throughout the cancer continuum: at time of diagnosis, treatment, relapse, survivorship, end of life and bereavement in the management of pancreatic cancer patients.

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Author(s): Muhammad Wasif Saif Kostas Syrigos Nektaria Makrilia Bonnie Indeck

 
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