Depression highly prevalent in long-term breast cancer survivors

  • Doege D & al.
  • Cancer Med
  • 06/10/2020

  • Miriam Davis, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • More than 30% of long-term (≥5 years postdiagnosis) early breast cancer survivors have mild to severe depression compared with 24% of population-based control participants.

Why this matters

  • This is one of the first studies of depression in long-term breast cancer survivors, a group often overlooked.
  • Findings suggest greater depression screening of long-term survivors.

Study design

  • Cross-sectional cohort of 2 German studies: CAESAR+ of breast cancer survivors (n=3010; stage I-III, 5-16 years postdiagnosis) and LINDE population control participants without breast cancer.
  • Participants were screened for depression with the Geriatric Depression Scale short form (GDS-15, with scores of 0-15;
  • Funding: German Cancer Aid.

Key results

  • Most patients with breast cancer were aged 60-69 years (36%) and 70-79 years (32%), with only 5% aged 80-89 years.
  • Long-term breast cancer survivors were more likely to report depression of any severity (30.4% vs 23.8%; P=.0003), adjusting for age and education.
  • Breast cancer survivors aged ≥80 years reported severe depression less frequently than population-based control participants.
  • Breast cancer survivors with recurrence reported more mild to severe depression than recurrence-free survivors and population-based control participants.
  • Mild depression was more likely in patients who were younger (
  • Similar determinants were found for severe depression.

Limitations

  • Cross-sectional, observational studies.