Conquer your cancer depression by finding and resolving the root causes. Take proactive steps to break the vicious circle of your depression and relieve your sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Regain your motivation for living and move beyond just being a cancer survivor.
The sooner you recognise the signs of cancer depression, the better the outcome
Depression has long been associated with Cancer and depression has been found to hasten decline in cancer patientsclick here.
New research shows that people who have been diagnosed with cancer are at greater risk of being hospitalised with depressionclick hereand that early recognition of cancer depression may benefit cancer survivors.
The relationship between cancer and depression is complex and the triggers for depression are many and varied.
Most experts agree that the trauma of cancer diagnosis and the psychological stresses of the cancer journey are major factors in cancer related depression.
Cancer depression is also thought to be a side effect of certain treatments and a new study on animals has shown that the tumour itself can change the biochemistry of the brain and trigger changes in the emotional behaviourclick here.
The many facets of cancer depression
During the cancer journey, you may experience several stresses and emotional upheavals; fear of death, interruption of life plans, alterations to social role and lifestyle, changes in body image, sex life and self esteem are just a few.
Each issue takes its toll and has the potential to create significant levels of anxiety and stress and each can contribute to cancer depression.
At times, coping with your thoughts, feelings and emotions surrounding cancer can seem almost unbearable. The stresses, traumas and anxieties that you face can create a dark tunnel of depression that can seem never ending.
Your experience of cancer depression is unique to you. Discover your own torch and shine a light through the darkness of your cancer depression. Find out how by visiting ourconsulting website, orcontact ustoday to book your consultation.
Cancer depression - an underestimated symptom
Depression is thought to be the least noticed symptom in Cancer patients.
It is estimated that up to 58% of cancer patients will experience some form of Cancer related depression.
This may happen soon after cancer diagnosis, but it is also quite prevalent after the completion of treatment, with some survivors experiencing cancer depression many years after the Cancer is gone.
The prevalence of Cancer depression is often underestimated because many symptoms of depression, such as fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, or sleep disruptions, closely mirror the physiological effects of the Cancer itself, or the use of certain treatments or medications.
A major contributory factor to Cancer depression is Cancer pain
Ineffective pain management is known to contribute significantly to Cancer depression and can lead to suicidal thoughts or suicide itself ( To find out how we can help you with this aspect, read our approach toCancer pain management).
Depression induced immune dysfunction
Stress and depression-induced immune dysfunction has been implicated in both the development and the progression of Cancer.
Various cellular and molecular immunological parameters are compromised in chronic stress and depression, as highlighted in an overview published in the International Review of Psychiatry Journalclick here.
The “take home message” from this study is:
“That behavioural strategies, psychological and psychopharmaco-theraputic interventions that enhance effective coping and reduce affective distress showed beneficial effects in cancer patients.”
Lessen the burden of stress and anxiety on your immune system. Create a better quality of life and move into a brighter future. Find out how by visiting ourconsulting website, orcontact ustoday to book your consultation.
The mind body connection - emerging fields of scientific research
In recent years, the emerging fields of Neuroimmunopsychology and Psycho-oncology have provided a wealth of scientific knowledge on the biological, psychological, mental, social and spiritual aspects of depression as well as Cancer related depressive conditions and their role in a patient’s quality of life.
The interplay between the different aspects and the mind-body connection is becoming more apparent and the evidence more compelling.
It is outside the scope of this website to discuss these aspects in any great details, but there are many publications and reviews readily available ( for an exampleclick here).
Increasing treatment choice for cancer depression
For a long time cancer depression was seen as an inevitability, with limited, if any available treatments. However, recently the choice of evidence based treatment options has increased.
The range includes a greater number of choices that enables you to take a more active role in managing your cancer depression. For some patients cancer care can feel like a “postcode lottery” and not all choices are available everywhere.
Never the less, the choices include the following;
Antidepressants are not a cure for depression. They won’t make you feel better instantly. They will simply lift your mood just enough for you to feel less negative and more able to cope with things.
At present, there are only a few randomised trials comparing antidepressants to placebo for the treatment of Cancer depressionclick here.
Prescribing antidepressants to Cancer patients requires specific knowledge and caution, as they may interact with other treatments and medications. As such, their use should be tailored to an individual patient and a psychiatric prescription is preferred.
For some people, antidepressants have a place. However, for other patients, being part of an active treatment is more beneficial than passively waiting for the drugs to work, as actively participating in their own treatment provides them with a greater sense of control.
Over the past few years the use of herbal medicines has increased significantly. Just because herbal remedies are natural products, it does not necessarily mean that they are safe to use, because they can interact with Cancer medicines and they may adversely alter their effectiveness.
Two common herbal remedies often used by Cancer patients warrant special mention and caution in their use:
St. John’s Wort
For some people, St. John’s Wort has been shown to be effective in treating depression. Other research has shown that it is not effective. Most of the research has been undertaken on people with depressive disorders, not specifically on treating Cancer depression. As such, caution must be taken.
St. John's Wort may affect some chemotherapy drugs
For example, the hormonal treatment Tamoxifen and another Cancer drug Inatinab.
St John’s Wort can also interfere with the way that other drugs work, including blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, the contraceptive pill and treatments for Epilepsy and HIV. The active ingredient in St. John’s Wort, Hypericin, interacts with sunlight so extra care is required in sunny conditions.
Ginko has been reported to help people with anxiety, memory loss, stress, sexual problems and Asthma.
Research has shown that it can improve blood flow to the brain, so it may help improve mood. It does however have side effects, including diarrhoea, dizziness, heart palpitations and headaches. Spontaneous bleeding and fits have also been reported. Furthermore, it is not clear if the active ingredients interfere
with Cancer medications and treatments.
You should always consult your specialist if you are considering taking Ginko, St. John’s Wort or ANY other botanical products.
Non drug treatments
Evidence from systematic reviews of randomised trials is quite strong...
...that mind body therapies improve mood, quality of life and treatment related symptoms in Cancer patients.
Efficacy of psychological interventions in depressed Cancer patients has also been demonstrated, but the results are somewhat harder to interpret.
A systematic review of psychological interventions amongst Cancer patients identified 129 trials. Only 24 showed an advantage in terms of the end point of depressionclick here.
At present, most interventions offered by the NHS are performed using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), or Interpersonal Therapy.
For some people with depression, these methods can be as effective as anti-depressants. However, these treatments are not suitable for everyone.
They focus on the “here and now” problems and do not address the cause of your distress and past symptoms. Furthermore, if you are feeling low, or are having difficulty concentrating, it can be hard to go through with the treatment, which may leave you feeling overwhelmed and disappointed.
A number of mind body interventions have proved to be extremely useful and are available mainly in the private sector. However, some more physical interventions such as massage and Yoga are funded by some NHS trusts and Hospices.
Harness the power of your mind to overcome your cancer depression. Find out how by visiting ourconsulting website, orcontact ustoday to book your consultation.
Change your life today … Live, don’t just survive
At The Naked Gene Juggler, we understand the science behind the mind body connection and the complex emotional, mental and psychological challenges that you face when dealing with cancer depression.
We can help you find and resolve the root causes of your cancer depression and we offer a pragmatic approach to helping you overcome the effects of cancer depression on the quality of your life.
Take the opportunity to be the director of your own life
Find out how you can…
• Conquer your cancer depression
• Relieve the sense of hopelessness and helplessness that your cancer depression brings
• Find and resolve the root causes of your cancer depression
• Overcome the trauma of cancer diagnosis and the psychological stresses and anxieties of your cancer journey that add to your cancer depression
• Unlock the power of your mind body connection to move beyond cancer depression
• Find the right treatment for you and take proactive steps to beat your cancer depression
• Lessen the burden of stress and anxiety on your immune system and support yourself throughout your cancer journey
• Overcome your cancer depression and be more than just a cancer survivor
• Break the vicious circle of cancer depression and regain your motivation and zest for life
Ready to make a change?
To find out more and book your initial constulation, visit our consultancy sitetoday.