Ultrasound showing breast cancer
Ultrasound images show breast cancer; the depression that follows for many patients is harder to track. UCLA and Kaiser Permanente have secured a grant to study possible connections between the two conditions over five years.
UCLA and Kaiser Permanente are teaming up for a study on depression among breast cancer survivors, a condition experts say often goes un-diagnosed and under-treated.
They maintain that cancer and its treatments promote inflammation that leads to sleep disturbances and depression in more than half of all breast cancer survivors. That’s a significant concern, scientists say, not just because depression negatively affects a patient's quality of life, but also because it may factor into the recurrence of cancer.
The five-year-study will track 300 yet-to-be recruited Kaiser Permanente volunteer patients who have had breast cancer. Researchers will examine their DNA for information that may identify those most at risk for depression. If the scientists succeeed in identifying categories of breast cancer survivors most at risk for depression, another study on preventive measures will follow.