Study Links Depression and Breast Cancer Outcomes

6 years 11 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, November 02 2011 Nov 2, 2011 Wednesday, November 02, 2011 5:19:00 PM CDT November 02, 2011 in News
By: Kelsey Alumbaugh

COLUMBIA - New research from the University of Missouri shows that certain factors, such as marital status, children in the home, income level and age affect the likelihood of depression in breast cancer survivors. The research also shows that depressed patients aren't as likely to stick with medication regimens and that could potentially complicate the progress of their treatment.

Ann Bettencourt, professor of psychological sciences at MU, says identifying risk factors for depression among breast cancer patients is an important part of a woman's prognosis. Bettencourt links depression with intentions to follow to treatment plans and lack of adherence to medication regimens.

"Depression can interfere with patients' willingness to adhere to medication regimes," Bettencourt said. "Deviating from the prescribed course of treatment may complicate patient outcomes and threaten prognosis."

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