Chemotherapy Treatments May Be Linked To Depression

A study from Kings College London concluded that chemotherapy doesn’t just impact the targeted malignant cancer cells but it may also attack parts of the brain which makes the patient more susceptible to clinical depression and mood swings. There have been volumes published on the adverse effects of chemotherapy. It is well known that the therapy not only effects malignant cells but healthy ones as well. The English researchers report focused on how the therapy impacted mood and emotion hoping to provide a more complete approach to treatment.

In experiments with animal subjects the research team found that there was a reduction in the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus which is associated with emotion. Mood swings and depression in cancer patients were previously written off as a product of the devastating diagnosis however new research suggests that this may not be the case.

Dr. Price, a psychiatrist on the executive committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists stated that, “There is a growing recognition that people have both physical and emotional needs at different points throughout their cancer journey. But at present, there is a lack of integration between physical and psychological care, some patients struggle to access the mental health services that they need as part of their cancer care. If we are going to manage cancer care in the way that is most helpful to patients, then we need to think about psychological care and support as part of their cancer treatment.”

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