gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Long term course of mental disorders in cancer patients

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Cathleen Rösner - Universität, Leipzig, Deutschland
  • Holger Bringmann - Universität, Leipzig
  • Oliver Krauß - Universität, Leipzig

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocOP568

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Rösner et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Background: Probable courses of mental stress and psychiatric disorders in cancer patients may be employed as predictors on individual cases. This information can help to prepare better psychooncological support.

Methods: Between 2002 and 2003 cancer patients in primary treatment (t1:n=689) of four Leipzig clinics were interviewed using Standardized Clinical Interview for DSM IV by trained interviewers. Investigated diagnoses covered affective, anxiety, stress and addiction disorders. Data on interventions and medical course were collected. The follow-up (t2:n=100) took place after 11–18 months. An ongoing second follow-up is scheduled 30–42 months after baseline.

Results: At baseline 40% of the tumour patients showed a mental disorder (11% stress disorders, 17% affective disorders, 20% anxiety disorders, 10% addiction disorders). While the overall quota of psychiatric diagnoses at follow-up did not change significantly (41%), interesting changes in the frequency of certain diagnoses were found: acute stress reactions and adjustment disorders decreased remarkably (3%), the frequency of anxiety disorders (PTSD, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder) raised (28%). The frequency of affective disorders did not change (17%), but its patterns: MDE decreased, Dysthymia increased (table). The rate of persisting mental disorders between t1 and t2 ranged from 0% (acute stress reaction, social phobia, panic disorder) to 80% (PTSD).

Conclusion: The frequency of mental disorders in cancer patients remains significantly increased in the long run. Especially PTSD, generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder should be focused on, as these tend to persist or emerge.

Table 1 [Tab. 1]