How are depression and cancer linked?
Depression is not regularly linked with cancer, and there is no proof that one disease causes the other.2,3 However, when faced with a diagnosis of cancer, you may feel extreme stress, anger, sadness, or a number of other strong emotions. While these feelings usually lessen over time, they can develop into depression.
If you develop depression after learning you have cancer—or were depressed before your diagnosis—your depression may affect the course of your cancer2,3 as well as your ability to take part in treatment. It is important for you to treat your depression even if you are undergoing complicated cancer treatment.