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Depression: Treatment

If You Have Cancer

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Some cancers and some cancer treatments increase the risk of depression. For example:

  • Studies have found that proteins called cytokines can cause depression. Cytokins are sometimes produced by tumors and sometimes produced by the immunological response to tumors.
  • Pancreatic and lung cancers can trigger depression-like symptoms.
  • Certain cancer treatments can induce depression. For example, hormonal medications such as Tamoxifen, some of the antitestosterone hormonal treatments for prostate cancer, and many chemotherapy agents.

Available treatments are described above.  Initial studies offsite linkindicate that light therapy may help. For information about additional steps you can take to help deal with depression, click here.

For more information about depression and cancer, see the National Institute of Mental Health's booklet by clicking here offsite link.

NOTE: When suffering from depression, bring it to the attention of all of your doctors. In addition to advice they may have (both medical and non-medical), they should know about your depression because it can affect adherence to whatever treatment they prescribe for your physical condition.

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