Estimation of anxiety and depression in patients with early stage breast cancer before and after radiation therapy
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Most previous studies about anxiety and depression in patients undergoing radiotherapy have only measured the quantity of general depression and anxiety and have not studied specific periods of involvement. The aim of this study was to assess anxiety and depression among early breast cancer patients, and the anxiety experienced immediately before and after radiotherapy.
Women who started radiotherapy for stage I or II breast cancer (n = 172) were asked to answer two questionnaires: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Radiotherapy Categorical Anxiety Scale immediately before and after radiation therapy.
The results showed that the mean scores of anxiety and depression (HADS and Radiotherapy Categorical Anxiety Scale) decreased after radiotherapy. The mean score of depression (HAD-D) in the group receiving conventional radiotherapy was higher than in those receiving hypofractionated radiotherapy before and after radiotherapy. The mean scores of anxiety and depression (HADS) in the endocrine therapy group were lower than in the group without endocrine therapy before treatment. However, the scores after treatment of both groups were not significant.
Some intervention may be needed to decrease the temporary anxiety and depression raised during radiotherapy for early stage breast cancer patients. This is especially so for patients who do not receive concurrent endocrine therapy and choose the conventional radiotherapy course.