Increased risk of depression for partners of breast cancer patients: Danish study

14:12, September 28, 2010      

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The latest Danish study shows that men whose wives are diagnosed with breast cancer have a 40-percent increased risk of serious depression.

"I did not expect that the risk for a serious depression would be this high," Christoffer Johansen from the Danish Cancer Society told Danish newswire Ritzau on Monday.

Scientists monitored one million Danish men during a 13-year period, where 20,538 men had wives who were diagnosed with breast cancer.

"The results clearly show that with increasing severity of breast cancer, their partners' risk of suffering from severe depression is also increased. If the female patients died, the risk of their partners suffering from depression disease would be four times the original," Johansen said.

Johansen stressed that while breast cancer patients are being treated, more attention should be paid to their partners as well, especially to their mental health. He believes these findings will lead to a new understanding of the relationship between patients and their families.

"Due to time constraints and traditional knowledge, doctors and nurses often focus on patients but neglect to take care of a patient's family," Johansen said. The study was published in the prestigious medical journal "Cancer".

Source: Xinhua


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