Is cancer patient care leading to increased suicide risk?


Issues over the quality of cancer patient care is a real issue right now. But is there a link to increased risks of suicide that’s caused by inadequate care?

A recent government study found that cancer patients can be at an increased risk of suicide. The increased risk may be as high as 20%.

It sounds feasible to link cancer patients to an increased risk of suicide given what they have to go through. But when we’re seeing more and more issues arising over inadequate cancer patient care and funding constraints, is there a link?

Increased suicide risks and cancer patient care

The increased suicide risks are predominant with cancers that have the poor prognoses, such as:

  • Lung cancer;
  • Mesothelioma;
  • Oesophageal cancer;
  • Pancreatic cancer;
  • Stomach cancer.

What we want to know is whether this is linked to inadequate cancer patient care. Any lack of funding is an open door to negligence, and we can’t have that.

This is said to be the first study of its kind, and it’s been theorised that the reasons may be complex, but could be linked to the fear of pain and the side-effects of treatment; both of which can be horrendous.

Shouldn’t advances in cancer patient care reduce suicide?

You’d think that continual advances in cancer patient care would lead to a reduction in the risk of suicide. It’s possibly hard to know whether there has been a reduction given this is a new study of its kind.

We know that more people are now surviving their cancer, yet people appear to be still struggling to cope. We therefore may need to look at better emotional support for cancer patients. The information released with the study suggests that emotional support needs to be better integrated with the patient care to avoid such deaths.

However, when we’re calling for increased funding after stories emerging of inadequate cancer care resources, will such support become available?

Better funding required to support cancer patient care

It’s clear to us that better funding is needed to ensure we have a proper standard of cancer patient care. Emotional support must be better integrated to reduce the risks of suicide.

With the NHS funding situation a continual tropic for debate, we can only hope that the government step-up and ensure the NHS is properly funded.

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