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Psychiatric disorders for cancer patients

Discussion in 'Doctors Cafe' started by Jermeen Wadie, Mar 6, 2020.

  1. Jermeen Wadie

    Jermeen Wadie Young Member

    Sep 6, 2019
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    What we should care about cancer patients more than their treatment with chemotherapy or radiation is their mental health as it has a great role in the illness treatment.
    They suffer from non-specific distress and anxiety. Distress is the summation of multiple psychological, social and spiritual factors which can interfere with the patient's ability to deal effectively with illness and complications of treatment.

    Study 1:

    A group of American and Canadian researchers examined mental health records of 191,068 patients from Ontario who either had bladder, prostate and kidney cancer. They focused on patients who used psychiatric services in the previous 5 years, but unfortunately they found that about 60% didn't use any of these services. All patients routinely should be screened with depression, distress, and suicidal ideation and should be referred for urgent psychological evaluation.

    Gorene said that hearing the words "you have cancer" sends people into a state of shock; then they don't hear what the oncologist or the nurse tells them. When your future is clear and suddenly cancer comes, it really brings forth a huge wave of emotional responses.

    Study 2:
    Menopausal women who take hormonal therapy after breast cancer surgery are prone to "Chemo brain" or cognitive decline. A study proved that women undergo a standard five-year course of an aromatase-inhibitor after breast surgery are left with lasting cognitive damage.

    Cognitive function considered visual, verbal, concentration, working memory, mental flexibility, and psychomotor speed. This information was assessed along with age, education, IQ, anxiety, fatigue, pain, and levels of depression.

    Women who received Aromatase inhibitor alone suffered from poorer concentration and psychomotor speed after one year therapy compared with their scores before therapy.

    Study 3:
    Few studies have focused on psychiatric disorders with Japanese patients referred to Psychiatry divisions at the National Center Hospital, East, Japan. The study was done for 1721 of the cancer patients, 78% of them were inpatients. 19% of the lung cancer, 13% breast cancer, and 10% were head and neck cancer; and it was found that 60% of them suffered from recurrence or metastatic cancer and the most common reasons were sleeping disorders, anxiety or fear and or depression. Regarding the psychiatric disorders, adjustment disorders followed by delirium and major depression.

    Adjustment disorder:
    It is a disease with a group of symptoms as stress, sadness or hopeless when the person passes through stressful life events such as:
    1- Worries about money.
    2- Illness as cancer.
    3- General life changes.
    4- Death of loved ones.
    5- Relationship problems.

    The disturbed state of mind characterized by illusions, restlessness and incoherence which could be the cause certain medications or happens to people suffered from brain diseases, which is treated with antipsychotic drugs. It lasts for days or weeks and for some cases could take months, but for the old age it is difficult to be treated or prevented

    Signs and symptoms of Delerium could include:
    1- Hallucinations.
    2- Being quiet and withdrawn.
    3- Disturbed sleep habits.
    4- Restlessness and agitation
    5- Reversal of night-day sleep-wake cycle.
    6- Slowed movement.

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