Depression and Anxiety Levels in Early Stage Turkish Breast Cancer Patients and Related Factors

Dastan N. B. , Buzlu S.

ASIAN PACIFIC JOURNAL OF CANCER PREVENTION, vol.12, no.1, pp.137-141, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Page Numbers: pp.137-141


Psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety are common among cancer patients. If left untreated, these disorders can lead to poor treatment compliance, prolonged hospital stay and reduced life quality. In this prospective study, we aimed determine anxiety and depression levels and related factors among female breast cancer patients presenting to a breast surgery clinic in Istanbul and who met the inclusion criteria. Data were collected using a questionnaire and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HAD). The mean age was 48.2 years and the mean post-operative period was 17.9 months. It was found that 46.3 % of the patients had stage I, and 53.7 % stage II, 59.3 % of them undergoing breast conserving surgery and 40.7 % mastectomy. When evaluated according to the HAD Scale, it was found that anxiety scores of 35.1 % of the patients and depression scores of 17.1 % of the patients were higher than their cut-off points. With regard to the affecting factors, depression scores of those with no family history of breast cancer were significantly higher than those with no family history of breast cancer (t= 1.53; p= 0.03); that the depression scores of the patients who underwent mastectomy were significantly higher than those who underwent breast conserving surgery (t= 1.75; p= 0.04). Additionally, it was found that low income was an important risk factor for anxiety; whereas a history of breast cancer in the family and mastectomy was an important risk factor for depression. These results indicate the importance of determining psychiatric problems and appropriate approaches in addition to medical treatment in breast cancer patients.