Institute of Oncology, Istanbul University, Capa, 34390, Istanbul, TURKEY
Background: Even though anxiety and depression are two mood disorders encountered commonly in cancer patients only few trials have been carried out so far in melanoma patients. The aim of the study was to determine the clinical prevalence of these disorders in Turkish cutaneous melanoma patients and to clarify possible clinicopathological factors influencing them. Material and methods: A total of 100 consecutive outpatient melanoma patients were enrolled and asked to complete the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) questionnaire immediately after scheduled visits. Results: A total of 24 participants had clinical anxiety and 8 were diagnosed with borderline anxiety. Fifteen were diagnosed with clinical depression and 20 with borderline depression. Prior to melanoma diagnosis the majority of the patients, 93 and 86, were assessed as normal in terms of their anxiety and depression status, respectively (p<0.001). A statistically significant correlation was found between anxiety and depression scores (p<0.001). The patients with advanced disease were significantly more anxious and depressive than those with early stage disease. None of the other socio-demographic parameters was found to be correlated with anxiety and depression status. Conclusions: Because a large group of Turkish melanoma patients, nearly one third of the cohort, was found to be suffering from relevant anxiety and depression, it is of uttermost importance that psychological support and pharmacological intervention for these patients be commenced as soon as possible.