Patients with lung cancer are at increased risk for suicide, reports Healio.

“Most clinicians do not think about suicide risk in [patients with cancer]. This study, I hope, will change that by making us more aware of those at greatest risk [for] suicide so that this catastrophe in the care of our patients does not happen,” Mohamed Rahouma, MD, postdoctoral cardiothoracic research fellow at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

The researchers pooled data from 3.6 million patients included in the SEER database. The patients had malignancies other than skin cancer. The investigators assessed the suicide death rate for all cancer types combined, as well as lung, prostate, breast and colorectal cancers individually.

Rahouma and colleagues identified 6,661 suicides associated with cancer diagnoses during a 40-year-period. Patients with any type of cancer had a 60% higher suicide rate than the general population.

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