Skip to main content

Palliative Care May Reduce Suicide Risk in Veterans with Lung Cancer

Veterans with advanced lung cancer face a significantly higher risk of suicide compared to the already high rate among veterans. But this suicide risk is greatly reduced when they receive at least one palliative care visit, according to a new study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for patients with severe illness. It aims to relieve physical pain and discomfort and to address psychological issues like anxiety that diminish quality of life for those with life-threatening illnesses.

The new study is based on the data of thousands of veterans with advanced lung cancer enrolled in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Central Cancer Registry. Of the 20,900 veterans with advanced lung cancer enrolled in the registry, 30 patients committed suicide, a rate more than five times greater than the average among all veterans of a similar age and gender who use VA health care.

However, the data showed that those with lung cancer who had at least one palliative care visit after their diagnosis were 81 percent less likely to die by suicide.

Lead author Donald Sullivan, M.D., M.A, M.C.R., said the psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis — particularly a lung cancer diagnosis — is underappreciated and largely overlooked in the medical community.

“Suicide is a significant national public health problem, especially among lung cancer patients and among veterans,” said Sullivan, an assistant professor of medicine (pulmonary and critical care medicine) in the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine.

“As a result, manifestations of this impact like social isolation, depression, anxiety, can go undiagnosed and untreated.”

Sullivan believes this study is the first to investigate the link between palliative care and suicide risk in cancer patients. He said that while several medical societies recommend palliative care for all patients with advanced stage lung cancer, there is often a gap between recommendations and practice.

“There are many barriers to palliative care, and unfortunately, some are related to clinician referrals,” he said. “Not all doctors are aware of the benefits of palliative care.”

Sullivan believes that palliative care should be offered to all patients shortly after receiving a diagnosis of advanced stage lung cancer. The best scenario would be an integrated approach in which patients with serious illness receive palliative care at the same time they receive other treatment therapies like chemotherapy, he said.

He emphasized that clinicians need to be vigilant for additional conditions or disorders, such as comorbid psychological illness, in their patients and to become familiar with local resources.

“For patients and families, it’s important to understand these risks exist and not to be afraid to reach out to your providers for help,” Sullivan said.

“We really can’t afford to wait for more data,” he said.

“I would like to see more efforts to screen and treat comorbid psychological illness among patients with lung cancer for which there is good evidence. I also believe more efforts are needed to integrate palliative care earlier in the lung cancer treatment paradigm.”

Source: Oregon Health & Science University

 



from Psych Central News https://ift.tt/2P3I8TN
via IFTTT

Become a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; https://www.patreon.com/carlislewellness and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hair Pulling, Nail Biting, Skin Peeling and Biting

All my life I’ve bitten my nails. It’s caused me a lot of trouble, especially with my bipolar mother who has always thought screaming and shouting at me (and often a smack when I was younger) would make me stop.At around 7 I also started biting and peeling the skin on my fingers which has caused a lot of social and health issues for me from being to ashamed to join in with prayers at school, to getting my fingers getting a fungal infection causing long lasting damage to my fingers.Soon after I started to pull out the tiny hairs on my legs during school assembles and by 12 I began to pull my eyebrow hair out.How can I stop doing this to myself? I don’t even realise I’m doing it half the time (I started biting the skin around my fingers just writing this and caused it to bleed a little). I’m afraid to bring this up with my parents because of how they have reacted in the past and I’m far too embarrassed to ask anyone I would typically trust. It has severally impacted how I interact with …

Painful Memories Evoke More Intense Emotions in Those With Depression

People with major depressive disorder (MDD) experience more intense negative emotions while recalling painful memories compared to non-depressed people, according to a new study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging.And although those with MDD were able to turn down their negative emotions about as well as non-depressed people, they used different brain circuits to do so.The new findings pinpoint brain differences in MDD associated with the processing of autobiographical memories — one’s memories of personal events and knowledge of one’s life — that help us develop our sense of self and guide our interactions with the world around us.“This study provides new insights into the changes in brain function that are present in major depression,” said journal editor Cameron Carter, M.D. “It shows differences in how memory systems are engaged during emotion processing in depression and how people with the disorder must regulate these systems i…

People with depression have stronger emotional responses to negative memories

People with major depressive disorder (MDD) feel more negative emotion when remembering painful experiences than people without the disorder, according to a new study. The study reports that people with MDD were able to control the negative emotions about as well as people unaffected by MDD, but used somewhat different brain circuits to do so.

from Top Health News -- ScienceDaily http://ift.tt/2D4icA6
via IFTTTBecome a patron of The Carlisle Wellness Network. Show everyone that you think this service is worth at least a buck. Go to; https://www.patreon.com/carlislewellness and pledge one dollar per month and help improve the resources it takes to gather the articles you see here as well as create fresh content including interviews an podcasts. We only need one dollar per month from all of our patrons to give The Carlisle Wellness Network a bright furture in the health and wellness social media ecosystem.