Unexpected Link Found Between Cancer Surgery and Suicide Rates - medtigo



Unexpected Link Found Between Cancer Surgery and Suicide Rates

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

Suicide rates are significantly higher among individuals who undergo cancer surgery, with half of all suicides occurring within the first three years following the procedure. 

Cancer may have catastrophic effects on the patient’s physical and mental health, causing them to experience anxiety, fear, or despair. Following surgical treatment, an estimated 6 to 38 percent of cancer patients suffer significant depression symptoms.  

There is a paucity of studies on the risk of suicide among these patients, so scientists affiliated with Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) decided to explore. Using data from 1,811,397 patients who underwent surgery for the 15 deadliest cancers, they determined that between 2000 and 2016, 1,494 (0.08%) cancer patients committed suicide.  

Compared to the general population, the rate is significantly higher among individuals who have undergone surgery for the following 10 types of cancer: larynx, oral cavity and pharynx, esophagus, bladder, pancreas, lung, stomach, ovary, brain, colon, and rectus.  

According to a stud, individuals who are male, Caucasian, divorced, and unmarried have the highest chance of committing suicide. In addition, 21% and 50% of suicides occurred within the first year and first three years, respectively, after surgical therapy. This is the time frame during which many cancer patients receive routine follow-up care.  

According to the study’s senior author, Chi-Fu Jeffrey Yang, a thoracic surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital and an assistant professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, “there is an opportunity to potentially develop and implement programs to regularly screen patients for distress and ensure that patients have access to the appropriate support and treatment if needed”. According to Yang, screening for psychosocial distress is advised for all cancer patients, regardless of their treatment. 


Free CME credits

Both our subscription plans include Free CME/CPD AMA PRA Category 1 credits.

Digital Certificate PDF

On course completion, you will receive a full-sized presentation quality digital certificate.

medtigo Simulation

A dynamic medical simulation platform designed to train healthcare professionals and students to effectively run code situations through an immersive hands-on experience in a live, interactive 3D environment.

medtigo Points

medtigo points is our unique point redemption system created to award users for interacting on our site. These points can be redeemed for special discounts on the medtigo marketplace as well as towards the membership cost itself.
  • Registration with medtigo = 10 points
  • 1 visit to medtigo’s website = 1 point
  • Interacting with medtigo posts (through comments/clinical cases etc.) = 5 points
  • Attempting a game = 1 point
  • Community Forum post/reply = 5 points

    *Redemption of points can occur only through the medtigo marketplace, courses, or simulation system. Money will not be credited to your bank account. 10 points = $1.

All Your Certificates in One Place

When you have your licenses, certificates and CMEs in one place, it's easier to track your career growth. You can easily share these with hospitals as well, using your medtigo app.

Our Certificate Courses