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Depression with Breast Cancer

Depression has a huge range of emotions, and just know that if this strikes you, you are not alone.  Most breast cancer patients try to maintain a good attitude through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer - as they rely so heavily on the fact they want a cure for this diseases.  Throughout the time of finding out the actual diagnosis and long journey that awaits you with the treatment of breast cancer - being positive is the only way to psychologically get through this.

After treatment is completed, sometimes maintaining a strong persona to the family and friends around you can be difficult.  After treatment, the patient is fatigued and physically taxed out.  Most physicians and surgeons will tell patients that it might take a good year or so to get back on track emotionally and cognitively......most do not thing this "funk" they are going through could be depression.

Depression manifests itself differently in every person, and although you might have some of the symptoms - some patients are perfectly able to be highly functional and interconnected in relationships with family and friends.

A study has been published about depression and anxiety in women with early breast cancer.  This was a five year observational cohort study.  This study was published by the British Medical Journal in March 2005 and titled, "Depression and Anxiety in Women with early Breast Cancer: Five Year Observational Cohort Study".  Almost half of the participants in this study who were all breast cancer patients - exhibited depression, anxiety, or both in the year after diagnosis.  25% in the second, third, and fourth years and 15% in the fifth year.

The study concluded that these patients had increased levels of depression, anxiety, or both in the first year after a diagnosis of early breast cancer, proving that some provision should be made available to these patients with a focus on improving social support.

After the first year of remission - the depression and anxiety among the participants in this study were relative to those conditions in the female population in general.  The study concluded that the depression is related to the patient and not to the disease or treatment.

Breast cancer patients have a great network of support available to them.  However, helping the breast cancer survivor after their treatment  - needs more attention on integrating the patients back into "everyday life".  Building a bridge to help those patients in need to reclaim their health after their long battle is necessary.  Sharing experiences, fears and triumphs  - whether it is a patient telling their own story, or just on a forum interacting with other members going through the same thing they are. 





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