Mental Health Issues Overshadow Breast Cancer Survivorship

The Danish study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, identified a 70% greater risk of severe depression in the first year after diagnosis.

Women who survive breast cancer face a higher risk of depression that can linger and require antidepressants, a new study finds.

Researchers in Copenhagen looked at data on nearly 2 million Danish women between 1998 and 2011, all of whom were initially free of cancer. During the study period, they found nearly 45,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

The risk of having to check into a hospital for severe depression was 70 percent higher for the breast cancer patients in the first year after diagnosis than their cancer-free peers. The breast cancer patients were also three times more likely to use antidepressants during the first year after diagnosis.

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