Our website uses cookies to improve your on-site experience. By using the website, cookies are being used as described in our Policy Document
Warning: To log in you will need to enable cookies and reload the page (Policy Document)
My ePortfolio Register   
 

Abstract | Full HTML Article | PDF ecancer 12 859 / https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2018.859

Review

Lung cancer patients have the highest malignancy-associated suicide rate in USA: a population-based analysis

Purpose: Previous studies have reported that psychological and social distresses associated with a cancer diagnosis have led to an increase in suicides compared to the general population. We sought to explore lung cancer-associated suicide rates in a large national database compared to the general population, and to the three most prevalent non-skin cancers [breast, prostate and colorectal cancer (CRC)].

Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database (1973–2013) was retrospectively reviewed to identify cancer-associated suicide deaths in all cancers combined, as well as for each of lung, prostate, breast or CRCs. Suicide incidence and standardised mortality ratio (SMR) were estimated using SEER*Stat-8.3.2 program. Suicidal trends over time and timing from cancer diagnosis to suicide were estimated for each cancer type.

Results: Among 3,640,229 cancer patients, 6,661 committed suicide. The cancer-associated suicide rate was 27.5/100,000 person years (SMR = 1.57). The highest suicide risk was observed in patients with lung cancer (SMR = 4.17) followed by CRC (SMR = 1.41), breast cancer (SMR = 1.40) and prostate cancer (SMR = 1.18).

Median time to suicide was 7 months in lung cancer, 56 months in prostate cancer, 52 months in breast cancer and 37 months in CRC (p < 0.001).

We noticed a decreasing trend in suicide SMR over time, which is most notable for lung cancer compared to the other three cancers. In lung cancer, suicide SMR was higher in elderly patients (70–75 years; SMR = 12), males (SMR = 8.8), Asians (SMR = 13.7), widowed patients (SMR = 11.6), undifferentiated tumours (SMR = 8.6), small-cell lung cancer (SMR = 11.2) or metastatic disease (SMR = 13.9) and in patients who refused surgery (SMR = 13).

Conclusion: The cancer-associated suicide rate is nearly twice that of the general population of the United States of America. The suicide risk is highest among the patients with lung cancer, particularly elderly, widowed, male patients and patients with unfavourable tumour characteristics. The identification of high-risk patients is of extreme importance to provide proper psychological assessment, support and counselling to reduce these rates.

Keywords: standardised mortality ratio (SMR), SEER database, suicide, lung cancer, psychological support

Loading Article Metrics ... Please wait

Related articles

Review: Women’s cancers: how the discovery of BRCA genes is driving current concepts of cancer biology and therapeutics

Abstract | Full Article | PDF Published: 14 Feb 2019 / https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2019.904

Clinical Study: Plasma neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and factors related to acute kidney injury and mortality in critically ill cancer patients

Abstract | Full Article | PDF Published: 14 Feb 2019 / https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2019.903

Research: Papillary breast lesions diagnosed by percutaneous needle biopsy: management approach

Abstract | Full Article | PDF Published: 05 Feb 2019 / https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2019.902

Research: Barriers to the non-acceptance of cervical cancer screenings (pap smear test) in women of childbearing age in a rural area of Peru

Abstract | Full Article | PDF | Spanish Published: 31 Jan 2019 / https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2019.901

Research: ROS1 mutation non-small cell lung cancer—access to optimal treatment and outcomes

Abstract | Full Article | PDF Published: 29 Jan 2019 / https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2019.900



Founding partners

European Cancer Organisation European Institute of Oncology

Founding Charities

Foundazione Umberto Veronesi Fondazione IEO Swiss Bridge

Published by

ecancer Global Foundation