Depression in cancer patients is common and may affect treatment outcome either directly (by lowering defenses) or indirectly (by lowering compliance). Neoadjuvant chemotherapy for advanced uterine cervix or breast cancer is a strenuous undertaking and may lead to depression and impair patients' willingness to comply with the rest of the treatment (eg, surgery or radiotherapy).
We compare Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) scores both before and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy in order to verify if depression influences treatment outcome. We studied 22 advanced uterine cervix and 20 breast cancer patients submitted to three courses of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We used cisplatin and ifosfamide for cervix, and fluorouracil, adriamycin, and cyclophosphamide for breast cancer. We did not identify significant differences in the number of depressed patients, before and after treatment. Cognitive affective, somatic-performance, and total BDI scores were not significantly different from before to after chemotherapy for both breast and uterine cervix cancer. After treatment, the number of depressive breast cancer patients increased while the number of uterine cervix cancer patients decreased. This trend to depression was found more often in less responsive breast cancer patients than in the more responsive cervix cancer patients. We were not able to link depression to treatment failure or success, but patients who responded to treatment were less depressed at the end of treatment.
- Beck Depression Inventory
- breast neoplasms
- uterine cervix neoplasm
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