Cancer Patients More At Risk Of Suicide, Study Finds

Monday, January 21, 2019

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Suicide risk quadruples for people with cancer, Penn State study finds

People with cancer are four times more likely to take their own lives than people without the disease, according to a new study by Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine researchers.

The risk of patients' taking their own lives varied by the type of cancer they had, as well as such factors as age and gender.

Overall, people with lung, head and neck, and bladder and testicular cancers, and Hodgkin's lymphoma were more likely to die by suicide than people with other cancers. In addition, elderly white males with cancer were more likely to take their own lives than were other cancer patients.

"Even though cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, most cancer patients do not die from cancer. The patients usually die of another cause. There are multiple competing risks for death, and one of them is suicide," said Nicholas Zaorsky, a study author and radiation oncologist at the Penn State Cancer Institute.

Click here for the Inquirer story