An overview of mental health impacts on women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer and suicide prevention

drepression

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Sara Araújo de Medeiros Mendes is a first year medical student at UNICEPLAC (Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos). She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Suicide is currently considered a public health problem in Brazil and worldwide (WHO, 2017). Suicidal behavior is multifactorial, including: suicide ideation, planning, suicide attempts and consummation (RODRÍGUEZ-CINTAS et al, 2017). Studies show that prevention against suicidal ideation is the best strategy to fight this problem, and that the association of physical and mental illness can contribute negatively to depression and the risk of suicide.

In this degree, several studies have pointed to a higher risk of suicide in patients with serious diseases. The diagnosis of cancer, in particular, has led individuals to an increased rate of depression and the risk of suicide. Studies found that the average incidence of psychiatric disorders can reach up to 40% of cancer patients, with depression and suicidal thoughts being the main characteristics (CONSTANTINI et al., 2014). Furthermore, when referring to depression, recent studies indicate that 15% to 20% of cancer patients have symptoms associated with depressive disorder, and often manifest in symptoms related to pain, fatigue and physical limitations caused by the disease.

Moreover, there are also variations among cancer patients: patients with certain cancer types are at much higher risk for suicide. Women diagnosed with gynecological cancer, especially in later stages of the disease – requiring multimodal treatment (chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery) – are the most affected according to research (KLUGEL et al, 2017). In this context, there are a number of factors that may contribute to this reality: sexual inactivity or loss of sex drive, and often the frustration of eventual infertility. In addition to the severity of the disease, there are social and psychological factors that contribute to women with gynecologic cancer having a greater predisposition to disorders associated with depression. Therefore, there is an issue that needs further attention from mental health policies: Women with a diagnosis of gynecological cancer are extremely vulnerable to psychiatric illness, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Given these points, it is evident that public health departments must develop an intervention program to support women with gynecological cancer in more advanced stages and promote special attention to their mental health, besides physical health. The proposal consists in the creation of support work forces with multidisciplinary teams composed of psychologists, nurses, social workers and doctors, who can contribute positively to the prevention of depression and suicidal ideation in these patients. It is essential that the prevention program also embraces the family members of the patients, especially those who follow the treatment and make up a family support network. It is important to consider the fact that family members are also emotionally empowered to contribute positively to the patient recovery and prevention of depression and suicidal ideation.

References

Costantini, A., Pompili, M., Innamorati, M., Zezza, M. C., Di Carlo, A., Sher, L., & Girardi, P. Psychiatric pathology and suicide risk in patients with cancer. JournalofPsychosocialOncology, 32(4), 383-395, 2014.

Klügel, S., Lücke, C., Meta, A., Schild-Suhren, M., Malik, E., Philipsen, A., & Müller, H. H. Concomitant psychiatric symptoms and impaired quality of life in women with cervical cancer: a critical review. International Journal of Women’s Health, 9, 795–805, 2017.

Rodríguez-Cintas, L. et al. (2017). Factors associated with lifetime suicidal ideation and suicide attempts in outpatients with substance use disorders. Psychiatry Research, S0165-1781(17) 30426-2

World Health Organization (WHO). Disease and injury country mortality estimates, 2000–2015 [Data files]. Retrieved September 23, 2017 from http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/estimates/en/index1.%20html

About the author

Sara Araújo de Medeiros Mendes is a first year medical student at
UNICEPLAC (Centro Universitário do Planalto Central Apparecido dos Santos). She
enjoys engaging in various academic activities such as congress organization,
academic league boarding, drafting and presentation of works and is fascinated by
the scope of teaching and research. In addition, she is constantly volunteering and
working with organizations and activities aimed at serving and assisting marginalized
populations, as she seeks to become a more humanized professional and citizen.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Blockchain is facing a backlash. Can it survive?

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

Scientists have a new suggestion to create more climate-friendly cows

Our poisonous air is harming our children’s brains

Eurozone: Economic Sentiment Indicator recovering losses

Make no mistake: the purpose of business is to serve society

Is your business model fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Artificial Intelligence: These 3 charts show what people really think

Smart cities must pay more attention to the people who live in them

One-in-five suffers mental health condition in conflict zones, new UN figures reveal

Why strive for Industry 4.0

A shocking new report reveals what we’ve done to the natural world

Scotland “shows the way” to separatist movements as Catalonia calls a vote on independence

Children paying a high price for inequality

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

Do academia and banks favour a new Middle Ages period?

UN police officer recognized for protecting vulnerable Somali women from abuse

MEPs condemn criminalisation of sex education in Poland

Misinformation and growing distrust on vaccines, ‘dangerous as a disease’ says UNICEF chief

It’s ‘time to #EndTB’, says UN on World Tuberculosis Day

Here’s how we make the internet safer for children

LGBTQI+ and medicine: are we prepared to deliver dignified and non-discriminatory health care?

Work and reforms of the UN ‘at risk’, Guterres warns Member States, amidst ‘record-level’ cash crisis

National parks transformed conservation. Now we need to do the same for the ocean

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

Promoting Health in the Brazilian Amazon: one nation but many cultures

38th ACP-EU Assembly: dialogue on cooperation challenges in Kigali

The Philippines is reopening a ‘cesspool’ island after a six month clean up

7 key challenges for the future of ASEAN – and how to solve them

Will GDPR block Blockchain?

Rapid action needed for people to meet challenges of changing world of work

UN standing with Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique as Southern Africa death toll from deadly cyclone mounts

Have central banks missed the exit train?

South Sudan: UN rights experts see little headway on peace deal amid spike in local-level violence

Hate speech in the digital world a ‘critical obstacle for LGBTI people’: UN’s Bachelet

This new solar technology can be printed or woven into fabric

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

This is what’s happening to the Amazon, according to NASA

EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

Deutsche Bank slammed by the US-based trio of IMF, Fed and Moody’s

This is what the world’s waste does to people in poorer countries

‘Wanton destruction’ in Sudan’s Darfur region, ‘blatant violation’ of international law

Botswana has decriminalized gay sex. But, it’s still illegal in 70 countries

“Hasta la vista” Google says to Spain and now Europe is next?

5 facts to know about Africa’s powerhouse – Nigeria

Sochi not far away from Ukraine

5 key concepts for blockchain newbies

Rural women a ‘powerful force’ for global climate action: UN Secretary-General

What have the banks done to the markets making them unable to bear cheap oil?

UN human rights chief denounces grave ‘assaults’ on fundamental rights of Palestinian people

What will Germany look like after the next election?

MEPs urge EU states to ensure better care of transported animals

UN condemns ‘heinous’ suicide attack on education centre in Afghanistan

We need to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. This is how we can do it

Violence on the rise in Darfur following Sudan military takeover, but UN-AU peacekeeping mission maintains ‘robust posture’

Sudan: Amidst deaths, injuries, imprisonments, UNICEF stresses children’s protection ‘at all times’

Political solutions ‘prerequisite to sustainable peace’, Lacroix tells Security Council

In an era of global uncertainty, the SDGs can be our guide

Pharmaceuticals: Commission refines intellectual property rules

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] An overview of mental health impacts on women diagnosed with gynecologic cancer and suicide preventi…  The European Sting “cervical cancer” – Google News […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s