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Childhood Cancer Survivors May Suffer More With Depression in Adult Life

Childhood Cancer Survivors May Suffer More With Depression in Adult Life

Adults who had cancer when children may be more likely to have emotional problems and lower quality of life because of the physical effects caused by radiation therapy, say researchers at the Northwestern University (USA). The results of the study were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology . The authors collected data at Childhood Cancer Survivor

in order to assess the effects that scars, the loss of hair - results of treatment against tumors - involved more than 14,000 adults who survived childhood cancer. These people were compared to siblings who did not have the disease. Analyzing the results, researchers found that survivors with persistent hair loss in general had an increased risk of anxiety. Female survivors with hair loss still had an increased risk of developing symptoms of depression. People with disfigurements and scars on the head, neck, arm or leg also had an increased risk of depression. According to the researchers, the study shows that cancer treatments can affect physical appearance and directly interfere with patients' quality of life , long after they turn 18. The experts emphasize the importance of psychological counseling for children with cancer from the start of treatment to minimize the impact of changes in the patients' appearance.

Cancer: ward off depression and fight against disease

"When I received the diagnosis of breast cancer, the first thought that came to mind is that I was going to die, "says commercial representative Joseane Dias, who had to remove the breasts. The seamstress Ivanilde Rocha, from Uberlândia, had the same cancer as Joseane. "It is a phase of life that makes anyone sad, I almost lost my temper after being retired because of disability," he says.

Despite the difficulties, both adopted attitudes to combat negative feelings. Today, they recognize that cancer is not a death sentence: they are cured and share the joy of having faced the disease.

With an eye on the symptoms of depression

Decreased appetite, weight loss, sadness and melancholy, dismay, feeling of incapacity , lack of hope, loss of self-esteem, guilty feelings and even suicidal thoughts can be signs of depression - a disease that also needs medical follow-up. Psychologist Mariana Lima of Oncomed, Belo Horizonte, also says that excessive sadness can interfere with a person's immunity, impairing the response to treatment.

Professional help

The psychologist can help the patient to better elaborate the presence and coping with everyday life. "We do an individualized work to raise which issues related to the disease are more difficult to face, such as the side effects of treatment, uncertainty of cure, fear of death, among other fears," explains psychiatrist and psychotherapist Sara Bottino, of St. According to the psychologist Viviane Totina, from the Amaral Carvalho Hospital, group conversations allow patients to exchange their experiences, facilitating the perception that they are not alone. "This may help find new possibilities for life even after the discovery of cancer," he says.

Good companies

Family and friends can help identify symptoms of depression and check for professional help. Psychotherapist Sara recalls that it is important to encourage the patient, but to acknowledge that despite all efforts, he may be depressed.


Sleep apnea device decreases risk of heart disease in women

Sleep apnea device decreases risk of heart disease in women

Studies in men have shown that sleep apnea greatly increases the risk of events such as heart attacks and strokes. But there were doubts about these risks for women. A new study, carried out by Valme Hospital Hospital in Seville, Spain, followed more than 1,100 women for approximately five years and found interesting evidence on the subject.

(Health)