Suicide Risk Rises After Some Cancer Diagnoses

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In the year following a cancer diagnosis, suicide risk goes up significantly, according to a study published in Cancer, a journal of the American Cancer Society. Results of this study underscore the critical need to screen people newly diagnosed with cancer for suicide risk and ensure they have access to support services.

To assess suicide risk in the year following a cancer diagnosis, researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin in Germany analyzed data from the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database from 2000 to 2014. Their analysis involved more than 4 million patients, 1,585 of whom had committed suicide. According to the researchers, this suicide rate is about 2.5 times higher than that of the general population.

The highest increase in suicide risk was seen in people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, and colorectal cancer. Breast cancer and prostate cancer diagnoses didn’t increase suicide risk.

Sourced from: Cancer