Depression and psychological distress appear to be greater in patients with pancreatic cancer, compared to other equally ill patients with cancer, including those with other abnormal neoplasms. The several hypotheses regarding etiology are unproven, but the possibility of a tumor-related paraneoplastic syndrome which promotes the production of a false neurotransmitter capable of altering mood appears most logical at present. However, patients with pancreatic cancer have tumors with known poor prognosis and they often have pain. Both factors contribute to depression. Management of depression depends upon attention to adequate pain control, use of antidepressants and psychological support. Depression in pancreatic cancer raises challenging questions, both about its cause and treatment. Further research study of its psychological and biological components is important in oncology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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