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:
- Timely Access to Care Screening Saves Lives There was unanimous agreement that people need timely access to psychological care throughout their cancer journey
- 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