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Mental illness tied to higher risk of cancer

Mental illness tied to higher risk of cancer

(ePharmaNews) - A new study found that People with mental illnesses - such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder - have more than twice increased risk of developing cancer compared to free-mental illness people.

according to the study published on Psychiatric Services, schizophrenia patients were more than 4.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer, 3.5 times more likely to develop colorectal cancer, and nearly three times more likely to develop breast cancer, and it seems that the same risks affect people with bipolar disorder.

Trying to explain this findings, study leader Dr. Gail Daumit suggests that People with serious mental illness are more likely to smoke, which could explain their elevated risk for lung cancer. Also, women with these disorders are less likely to marry and have children  and that increases the risk of breast cancer as proven - bytheway that is what explain the low prevelence of breast cancer among low socioeconomic women as this category usualy get married early-. In addition, some drugs used to treat mental illness can increase levels of the hormone prolactin, a factor that has been linked to breast cancer.

Regarding colorectal cancer, the auther suggest that lifestyle issues such as lack of exercise and smocking and diet lacking fruits and vegetables may play a significant role in this risk.

"The increased risk is definitely there, but we're not entirely sure why, Are these people getting screened? Are they being treated? Something's going on" the sudy leader adds, indicating that health sirveces could be responsible for these finding, as it doesn't provide ideal care for these patient, far away from their mental illness.

The researchers analyzed data from more than 3,300 patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to determine how many of them were diagnosed with cancer between 1994 and 2004.

Worth mentioning, same team of researches published last month - on  Injury Prevention journal- a study indicating that people with  mental illness were about 2.5 times to require emergency or inpatient department treatment for an injury, that happens for one time in nearly half of mental illness patients, and for six times in 10% of them.

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Prepared by: Basel AlJunaidy

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