Current Psychiatry Reports

, 15:404 | Cite as

Depression and Insomnia in Cancer: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Effects on Cancer Outcomes

  • Michael R. IrwinEmail author
Sleep Disorders (RM Benca, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Sleep Disorders


Over two-thirds of the 11.4 million cancer survivors in the United States can expect long-term survival, with many others living with cancer as a chronic disease controlled by ongoing therapy. Behavioral comorbidities often arise during treatment and persist long term to complicate survival and reduce quality of life. This review focuses on depression and insomnia with an emphasis on understanding the role of cancer-specific factors and their contribution to the prevalence of these behavioral comorbidities in cancer patients following cancer diagnosis and treatment. The clinical significance of depression and insomnia for cancer patients is further stressed by epidemiological observations that link depression and insomnia to cancer morbidity and mortality risk.


Depression Insomnia Cancer Sleep disturbance Inflammation Fatigue Anxiety Depressive symptoms Major depression Psychiatry 



Supported by R01-AG034588, R01-AG026364, R01 CA160245-01, R01-CA119159, R01 HL095799, R01 DA032922-01, P30-AG028748 to MRI, and UCLA CTSI UL1TR000124, and the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Michael R. Irwin declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, David Gefffen School of MedicineUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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