More Depression for Mothers and Singles With Breast Cancer

November 16, 2011

The New York Times

Women who have children living at home and single women have higher levels of depression in the months after treatment than other breast cancer patients, new research shows.

The findings, from a study of 225 women undergoing radiation treatment at nine clinics in Missouri, offers a glimpse into the emotional toll of breast cancer, suggesting that some women face greater psychological challenges in the months after treatment ends. The study, published in the journal Psychology & Health, was conducted by researchers from the University of Missouri, Texas A&M and Tulane University.

To measure differences in depression, women completed questionnaires that resulted in a depression score. The study showed that while all women with a breast cancer diagnosis experience psychological stress, certain women are at greater risk for ongoing depression. Having children living at home, being single or having low income were all risk factors for depression among breast cancer patients during the year after treatment... Read More