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Can depression affect mesothelioma patient health and treatments?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2023 | Mesothelioma/Asbestos-Related Illness

Illnesses like mesothelioma affect every person differently. Your prognosis and health may be quite unlike those of someone else with the same disease because of circumstances unique to you.

For instance, a recent study suggests that if you have or develop depression, the condition could have a surprisingly significant impact on your risk of adverse outcomes.

What the study revealed

According to the study, lung cancer patients with depression may be more likely to experience inflammation, contributing to lower survival rates.

Researchers suspect there is a connection associating high systemic inflammation ratio (SIR) biomarker levels with higher risks of a poor prognosis. The study found that 77% of participants with high depression levels also had high inflammation levels. 

In other words, study participants with depression had higher inflammation, which relates to poor outcomes.

Researchers believe that depression could have as much or more of an impact on outcomes as other factors like lifestyle and demographics.

What does this mean for readers with mesothelioma?

While the study did not involve participants with mesothelioma, lung cancer is similar in many ways. Thus, it could be possible to take these findings and use them to inform mesothelioma treatment options.

If you do suffer from depression, this research could motivate you to seek help, like counseling and medication. Too many people overlook depressive symptoms because they think these are normal or have more acute conditions to address.

But the fact is that there are myriad benefits to treating mental health issues in the wake of a difficult diagnosis. Doing so can improve your overall health by helping you sleep or eat better. 

Keeping your eye out

It is vital to note that being sad, upset or anxious in light of a mesothelioma diagnosis is absolutely normal, and it is not the same as being clinically depressed. However, if you start noticing major depression symptoms, talking about them with your doctor and seeking psychological support can be critical. 

By paying attention to your mental health and well-being, you can address concerns before they cause irreparable damage. 

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