Breast Cancer Survivors Face Higher Risk of Depression

Danish researchers have found that women who survive breast cancer are far more likely to experience depression that can persist for many years.

In the first year after diagnosis, breast cancer patients were 1.7 times more likely to seek treatment for depression, and three times more likely to use antidepressants than their cancer-free peers. Eight years after diagnosis, breast cancer survivors were still more likely to need treatment for depression.

The findings support the need for a behavioral health component to any survivorship plan.

The study, published online this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, included almost two million women of which nearly 45,000 women had a diagnosis of breast cancer.