Nearly one-third of women with breast cancer experience temporary or lasting depressive symptoms during and after treatment, according to a study published online April 14 in JAMA Network Open.
Cécile Charles, Ph.D., from Institut Bergonié in Bordeaux, France, and colleagues examined longitudinal patterns of depressive symptoms in patients with breast cancer from diagnosis to three years after treatment. Analysis included 4,803 women.
The researchers identified six trajectory groups characterizing the heterogeneity of depressive symptoms: noncases with no expression of symptoms (54.8 percent); intermediate worsening (22.4 percent); intermediate improvement (10.0 percent); remission (5.4 percent); delayed occurrence (4.2 percent); and stable depression (3.2 percent). There was a consistent association between Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores at diagnosis and five depressive trajectory group affiliations, with an estimated higher probability per point increase of experiencing subthreshold or clinically significant depressive symptoms. Differences in demographic, socioeconomic, clinical, and lifestyle factors were seen among trajectory groups.
“Findings of this study suggest that characterization of depressive trajectory groups after breast cancer diagnosis needs further validation but is a key step toward personalized management of patients at risk of depression, a common comorbidity in breast cancer associated with poorer prognosis,” the authors write.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.