New research has found that Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients have a higher likelihood of suffering from substance-abuse and mental health disorders, in comparison to the general population. Hodgkin’s lymphoma works by attacking an individual’s immune system. The highly curable cancer is said to be prevalent in those aged between 15 and 39. This cancer type affects young individuals going through major transitions and events in their lives, such as starting their careers and attending college.
Data from the National Cancer Institute shows that in the last five decades, death from Hodgkin’s lymphoma has dramatically reduced in comparison to any other cancer. Experts note that more than 75% of patients that are newly diagnosed with this malignancy can be cured with radiation and chemotherapy.
The researchers’ study objective was to find out whether patients who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma were at increased risk of being diagnosed with a mental health disorder after their diagnosis. The research, which was carried out by scientists from the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, published its findings in the “Cancer” journal.
Mia Hashibe, a researcher at the institute, was the study’s senior author. The researchers discovered that individuals with Hodgkin’s lymphoma had a higher risk of substance abuse, depression, suicide, anxiety and self-inflicted injuries.
Randa Tao, the lead researcher of the study, is a radiation oncology specialist at the institute. The study was carried out with Shane Lloyd, an assistant professor of radiation oncology at the School of Medicine-University of Utah, as its coauthor.
For their research, the scientists recruited patients in the Utah Cancer Registry who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma during the 1997–2014 period. They matched this figure, which totaled 795 patients, to more than 3,500 individuals from the general population in the state.
This led the researchers to discover that depression and anxiety were the most common conditions, with substance abuse coming in third. The researchers also considered risk factors for the development of disorders and long-term mental health outcomes to determine whether such conditions could shorten the lives of patients.
They found that the 10-year rate of survival for patients with Hodgkin’s lymphoma was more than 15% lower in those with a mental health diagnosis, in comparison to those without one.
Tao stated that more studies were needed to support both the short- and long-term mental health of cancer patients, noting that this would help to better understand the causes of these mental health conditions and find ways to improve the mental health of patients with Hodgkin lymphoma.
While it is right to address the mental health effects of cancer diagnoses upon patients, enterprises such as QSAM Biosciences Inc. (OTCQB: QSAM) have opted to specialize in discovering superior therapeutics so that different adult and pediatric cancers can be decisively treated.
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