According to two studies, one published in The Lancet and the other published in The Lancet Oncology, a new program called Depression Care for People with Cancer (DCPC) significantly improved depression symptoms in patients with cancer.
The program is a systematic treatment program provided by a team of specialist oncology nurses and psychiatrists working simultaneously with the patient's cancer team. The program involves both antidepressants and psychological therapy.
In the study published in The Lancet, researched studied 500 patients with major depressive disorder and cancer with a good prognosis. Patients either received DCPC or standard care, which involves physician support that may prescribe antidepressants or referral to mental health services.
They found that after 6 months, 62% of patients experienced at least a 50% reduction in the severity of their depression versus 17% of patients receiving standard care.
In the study published in The Lancet Oncology, patients with lung cancer and major depression who received DCPC improved the patients' anxiety, daily functioning, and overall quality of life. When patients with cancer have a poor prognosis, depression can ruin what time the patient has left. Treating major depression can significantly improve a patient's life despite a poor prognosis.
Recent papers have revealed that nearly three quarters of depressed cancer patients do not receive any form of treatment for their depression. However, a new integrated treatment program, found to be distinctly more effective than current forms of care, could change things.
The papers, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, The Lancet and The Lancet Oncology, have examined the prevalence of depression within cancer sufferers and assessed a new program of integrated treatment that could revolutionize the care of depression.