A recently published study involving patients with head and neck cancer adds to and confirms a growing body of data showing that depression contributes to premature mortality in general, as well as in patients with cancer in particular.
Explore this issue:April 2016
In the study, investigators from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston found that depression was a significant, independent factor predicting five-year survival in patients with newly diagnosed oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer (Psychosom Med. 2016;78:26-37).
Previous studies have also concluded that depression can be a predictor of mortality in patients with cancer (Nat Clin Pract Oncol. 2008; 5:466-475; Cancer. 2009;115:5349-5361).