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1. Is there any known reason why a cancer diagnosis causes persistent anxiety and/or depression vs. a diagnosis of heart disease or diabetes (for example)?

2. Why do depression and/or anxiety cause chronic pain?

Thank you.

Posted: 10 May 2007 10:39 PM
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1.  Any crisis such as a major illness or a chronic illness can trigger anxiety and/or depression; it just depends on the person. However, there are some types of cancer where depression can be the first presenting symptom, i.e. pancreatic cancer.

2.  Depression and anxiety do not CAUSE chronic pain, but chronic pain can increase depression and anxiety.

Mary K. Hughes, R.N., C.N.S.
The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Psychiatry Department
1515 Holcombe, 453
Houston, TX 77030
Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
Voice Mail: 713-745-4630
Office: 713-745-3344
Clinic: 713-792-6600
Fax: 713-794-4999

This communication is not intended as professional medical advice nor is it a substitute for an office visit. The content provided is for general information purposes, not specific treatment. If you have a urgent problem, call the office immediately. Do not wait for an e-mailed response.

Posted: 11 May 2007 02:52 PM
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