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Trajectories and Predictors of Post-Treatment Depression in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

Author(s): Yasunori Adachi, Hiroyuki Kimura, Hiroki Kimura,Tatsuya Tokura, Norio Ozaki

Head and neck cancer (HNC) is considered one of the most traumatic and distressing types of cancer and is often associated with high rates of depression and suicide. Depression has a negative effect on HNC treatment outcomes, such as quality of life and mortality. However, depression is frequently underdiagnosed and consequently undertreated. Therefore, it is important to understand the trajectories of HNC-associated depression to be able to predict which patients will develop post-treatment depression. This article reviews the literature on the prevalence and trajectories of depressive symptoms and identifies predictors of post-treatment depression in patients with HNC. Many studies have reported persistent depressive symptoms after treatment. The level of pretreatment depressive symptoms could be a useful predictor of the level of pretreatment depression, although the findings of the studies reviewed here are inconsistent.

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