What is cancer and PTSD?

Cancer is a broad group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth such that cells divide and grow forming malignant tumours. These may spread through the lymphatic system or blood stream. Not all tumours are malignant – some remain benign and do not invade other organs. Lifestyle, genetic factors and environmental pollutants increase a persons’ risk of developing cancer. Cancer can affect people of all ages. The most common cancers include lung cancer (22% of all cancers), bowel cancer (12%), breast cancer (8-23%) and prostate cancer (7%). Cancer may be measured by incidence or mortality rates. Incidence is the number of new cases in a specific population. Mortality refers to the rate of deaths due to cancer in a specific population.

What is the evidence for PTSD in cancer patients?

Moderate to high quality evidence finds more severe PTSD symptoms in cancer patients were associated with more depression, anxiety, distress, and post-traumatic growth. They were also associated with less social support and quality of life. There were no significant associations with age, gender, or time since cancer diagnosis.

August 2021

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Last updated at: 12:35 am, 26th October 2021
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Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
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