Many who bat­tle can­cer ac­tu­ally stay strong men­tally

The Borneo Post - Nature and health - - Eq Vital Signs -

MOST older adults who are cur­rent or for­mer can­cer pa­tients have good men­tal health, a new study finds. The study in­cluded 438 Cana­dian adults with can­cer and 1,174 can­cer sur­vivors who took part in a 2012 sur­vey on men­tal health. All were aged 50 and older. Two-thirds of the cur­rent can­cer pa­tients and more than three-quar­ters of for­mer can­cer pa­tients had good men­tal health, ac­cord­ing to the study re­sults.

“Can­cer pa­tients were do­ing much bet­ter than we had ex­pected,” said lead au­thor Esme Fuller-Thom­son, di­rec­tor of the Univer­sity of Toronto’s In­sti­tute for Life Course and Age­ing. “Two-thirds met our very strin­gent cri­te­ria for ‘com­plete men­tal health,’ which meant that they were happy and/or sat­is­fied with their life on a daily or al­most daily ba­sis, and they also re­ported very high lev­els of so­cial and psy­cho­log­i­cal well-be­ing,” Fuller-Thom­son noted in a univer­sity news re­lease.

“Only those who were also free of men­tal ill­ness, in­clud­ing de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety dis­or­ders, and with­out any sub­stance depen­dence or sui­ci­dal thoughts in the past year were clas­si­fied as be­ing in com­plete men­tal health,” she said. Fuller-Thom­son added that “the news for can­cer sur­vivors was even bet­ter, with three-quar­ters liv­ing in com­plete men­tal health, which is a preva­lence com­pa­ra­ble to that of in­di­vid­u­als with no can­cer his­tory.”

Study co-au­thor Keri West, a doc­toral stu­dent in the fac­ulty of so­cial work, said, “Among those with for­mer or cur­rent can­cer, the odds of com­plete men­tal health were higher for women, white, mar­ried and older re­spon­dents, as well as those with higher in­come and those who did not have dis­abling pain nor func­tional lim­i­ta­tions. “We found that ear­lier dif­fi­cul­ties cast a long shadow: those who had been phys­i­cally abused dur­ing their child­hood and those who had ever had de­pres­sion or anx­i­ety dis­or­ders were less likely to be in com­plete men­tal health,” West added.

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