About 6.7% of the population in the United States has depression and it can have an impact on long-term outcomes when a blood cancer diagnosis is layered on. Multiple myeloma patients who are dealing with depression when diagnosed don't live as long as other myeloma patients, according to a new study.
A group of Japanese myeloma researchers analyzed 255 myeloma patients, 83 of which had depression. Patient groups were based on depressive symptoms assessed before starting cancer treatment and one month later. Patients were broken into four groups:
The overall survival of myeloma patients without depression was significantly increased compared to patients with depression. The risk of death was 3 times higher in the "remission" from depression group and 2 times higher in the persistent depression group compared to the no depression group. Risk of death was not significantly greater in the new occurrence group compared with the no depression group.
The authors conclude that for myeloma patients and those with other blood cancers, the group with depression at baseline had a poorer survival, both in the group that remained depressive and the group that recovered from depressive symptoms.
Having myeloma alone can be hard enough. If you are suffering from depression along with your myeloma, here are 5 ideas to help:
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