Patients with urological cancer such as prostate, bladder or kidney cancer are five times more likely to commit suicide than people without cancer, new research has found.
Severe psychological stress is one of the main side-effects of both a diagnosis of cancer and cancer treatment, with depression affecting between five per cent and 25 per cent of cancer patients, the study said.
“Our data confirms research from other countries that suicide rates are higher in cancer patients, and we show this to be higher particularly in patients with urological cancers,” said study co-author Mehran Afshar from St. George’s Hospital in London.
For the study, presented at the 33rd European Association of Urology Congress held in Copenhagen, Denmark, the researchers examined the records from the England and Wales Hospital Episode Statistics database, from the period 2001 to 2011.
They linked this with cause of death statistics from the Office of National Statistics in Britain.
The researchers identified a total of 980,761 (493,234 males and 487,094 female) cancer patients.
The team identified 162 suicides and 1,222 suicide attempts. In the general population, the suicide rate is 10 per 100,000 people.
The team found that the all-cancer suicide rate was 30 per 100,000 people.
But in the urological cancers the figures are 36 per 100,000 people in kidney cancer, 48 suicides per 100,000 in bladder cancer, and 52 per 100,000 people in prostate cancer.