Roughly 1 in 5 cancer patients developed post-traumatic stress disorder within six months of their diagnosis — and a small percentage still experienced trauma-related symptoms six years later, according to new research.
Cancer patients and psychologists have long known a cancer diagnosis can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, even when patients manage to drive their disease into remission.
A new study, published Monday in the journal Cancer, underlined the pervasiveness — and in some cases, the persistence — of that emotional trauma.
Scientists in Malaysia and Boston analyzed 245 patients over four years, and found that nearly 22 percent had developed PTSD within six months of their diagnosis. Four years later, more than 6 percent still experienced symptoms like psychological distress and cognitive problems.