White Female Mesothelioma Patients May Be At Higher Risk for Depression

Though the primary concern when a person is diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma is their physical health, it is essential that clinicians, caretakers and family members pay close attention to the patient’s psychological wellbeing too. A recent study conducted at the University of Florida looked at cancer patients’ vulnerability to depression, and found that though among the group they studied the diagnosis was common, it is particularly present for white women. 

Advanced Lung Cancer Study Results Can Be Applied to Mesothelioma Patients

Though the study conducted at the University of Florida specifically focused on patients diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, there are numerous similarities between that particular condition and malignant mesothelioma, so it is fair to extrapolate the study’s results onto the population afflicted with the rare, asbestos-related disease.

The information that the study yielded will be of particular interest to those with a mesothelioma patient in their lives, and especially when the patient is a white woman. They found that the clinical expression of sadness, anger and grief that is common among patients diagnosed dealing with the terminal condition was most likely to occur in that demographic group.

Study Data Sourced from SEER Database

The conclusions reported in the Florida study was sourced from the SEER database, which collected medical records from more than 120,000 patients treated between 2001 and 2013. The applicability of the information to malignant mesothelioma is highlighted by the similarity between the two diseases, and particularly the fact that diagnosis of mesothelioma comes so late in its development. 

The study showed a profound increase in depression among patients during the first three months after their diagnosis, and that this increase was more pronounced among white women than in any other patient demographic. The greatest contrast was between white women and Hispanics: for that group depression was only apparent in 12.7 percent of those diagnosed, while 20 percent of white patients experienced depression, with the vulnerability being 6 percent higher in women than in men.

Women with mesothelioma may require an additional layer of attention to their psychological wellbeing. If you need access to support and resources, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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