Depression reduces action to stop cancer treatment says Chinese study
Depression reduces action to stop cancer treatment, says Chinese study
Depression? In addition to causing quite a few discomforts, it can reduce the’effectiveness of cancer treatments and increase their adverse effects. Depressive disorders also reduce the concentration of a molecule in the blood that helps chemotherapy drugs take effect, the ‘brain growth factor’ bdnf. This was revealed in research by Yufeng Wu, of Zhengzhou University Polyclinic, Henan Cancer Hospital, China. ”It’s crucial that doctors pay more attention to patients’mood and emotional state. Depression can reduce the effects of chemotherapy, and BDNF plays an important role in this process” explained Professor.
To highlight this, Giovanni D’Agata, president of the “Sportello dei Diritti”. Scholars screened 186 individuals who had just been diagnosed with lung cancer. Before starting treatment, all patients underwent a ‘checkup’ of their mental health status, with ad hoc questionnaires. People with depressive disorders showed lower response to cancer therapies and more side effects due to treatment, as well as, especially in the case of severe depression, lower life expectancy even in the absence of worsening disease. They showed, in addition, low levels of BDNF.
Researchers saw that the’effectiveness of cancer therapies in killing cancer cells increased as the concentration of BDNF in patients’ blood increased, a sign that this molecule is somehow involved in sensitivity to cancer drugs. The results are so clear-cut that researchers are considering starting a trial with the’use of an antidepressant drug in combination with chemotherapy to see if this increases sensitivity to chemotherapy and reduces its side effects. But how to fight depression and thus increase the beneficial effects of therapies in fighting the disease? Coming to the rescue here is another recent study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, which measured the beneficial effects of light, especially natural light, on the treatment and prevention of depression.
Experts in this case recommend 20-30 minutes a day of outdoor activity, such as gardening or walking. Therefore stronger against cancer if you do not ‘lose your smile’ during the fight for recovery. The study was presented in Singapore at the European Society of Medical Oncology congress.