Publication on Cancer & Depression : The perspective of patients, informal carers and clinicians

This project was formed as a joint initiative between GAMIAN-Europe and the European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC) and took place within the context of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (2022).


The project’s objectives were:

  • Raise awareness on the issue of depression as a cancer comorbidity
  • Gather in-depth patient accounts on the issue of comorbidity
  • Gather information from relevant stakeholders such as patients, clinicians, researchers and EU and national policymakers regarding the challenges of comorbidity
  • Encourage dialogue between patients, clinicians and other stakeholders to be used as a basis for policy r recommendations for EU and national policymakers.


After analysing the workshops and survey undertaken by patients, carers, clinicians and experts, here are six key findings that came out of the analysis:

  1. Timely Access to Care Screening Saves Lives There was unanimous agreement that people need timely access to psychological care throughout their cancer journey
  2. Your support networks are key. 85% of those surveyed, spoke to either a professional or friends and family about their symptoms of cancer and depression
  • Screening saves lives. Early and periodic screening for mental health problems in cancer patients throughout their treatment is vital
  • Professional Collaboration. Cancer and mental health professionals need to work together to improve support and treatment for those with cancer and depression
  • Carers need guidance. 86% of informal carers from our survey said they received no advice from healthcare professionals but would have benefited from it.
  • Depression is stigmatised. Cancer is given a lot more attention and sympathy than depression. This could be due to the stigma that surrounds depression and mental health in general

Read the full report here.

Download the full report here.