Lawyers Say It’s Crucial Adequate Support In Place To Help People
Cancer patients suffering from emotional issues are being encouraged to seek medical advice to help prevent them from being diagnosed with mental illness.
Medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office have issued the advice after a study found that a fifth of cancer patients experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Researchers followed 469 patients with various forms of the disease at a referral centre. They tested the people for PTSD six months after their diagnosis, discovering 41 per cent had the illness. Further tests four years later showed that just six per cent of the people had PTSD.
The research was conducted in Malaysia.
No official study into the links between cancer and PTSD has been carried out in the UK. However, government data shows one in five people report having moderate to severe mental health issues following their diagnosis. Macmillan Cancer Supports estimates this to be 530,000 people.
Julie Lewis is the regional managing partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office.
Expert OpinionMany of our cases show that cancer patients often suffer psychological conditions such as PTSD and depression following diagnosis.
“Research shows that many believe they need to adopt a ‘warrior mentality’ and remain positive and optimistic from diagnosis through treatment to stand a better chance of beating their cancer.
“It is crucial that adequate mental health support is in place and that patients seek help for the emotional issues they face.” Julie Lewis - Partner
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