Anxiety and depression are common in patients with cancer and in palliative care settings. These symptoms can be reactive to the illness or can be related to the direct physiologic effects of the disease or to drug therapies. Effective treatment of these symptoms includes both psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic approaches. The newer anti-depressants, anxiolytics, and hypnotics are better tolerated and can be continued safely if necessary, or they can be reduced and discontinued as symptoms improve.
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.
Reprint requests: Mary Jane Massie, MD, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021.
No benefits in any form have been or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article.
Received on May 31, 2006; accepted for publication August 15, 2006.