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Study finds cancer survivors affected by anxiety

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

Individuals who are impacted by medical conditions may opt to undergo a lab test outside of a doctor's office to help take command of their own health. While blood testing is one of many medical processes people can engage in without a healthcare provider's interference, for some issues like cancer, people may seek solace from a doctor.

For those who are treated and survive cancer, anxiety may develop, according to the findings of a recent study published in The Lancet Oncology.

Researchers learned that people who have recovered from cancer are increasingly more likely to struggle with nervousness than those who have not been affected by the condition, as are their loved ones, HealthDay News reported.

"Our results suggest that, after a cancer diagnosis, increased rates of anxiety tend to persist in both patients and their relatives," said lead author Alex Mitchell, MBBS, Of Leicester General Hospital in England. "When patients are discharged from hospital care they usually receive only periodic check-ups from their medical teams and this autonomy in the post-acute period can be anxiety-provoking."

Data extracted from 27 publications containing 43 comparison studies revealed cancer survivors were nearly 30 percent more likely to be affected by anxiety two years or more after a diagnosis than individuals never impacted by cancer.

Over the course of 10 years, 50 percent of these individuals were likely to report feelings of nervous tension or stress.

Surprisingly, the partners of cancer survivors were also inclined toward feelings of anxiety over the span of two to 10 years after recovery from the condition. The rates of depression among survivors and their partners were comparable, according to the researchers.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, approximately 12 million individuals in the U.S. have a history of cancer. About 60 percent of adults who are cancer survivors are over the age of 65, and 14 percent recovered more than 20 years ago.

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