Purpose: Mood and anxiety disorders are among the most common behavioral sequelae of breast cancer as well as fatigue, sleep disturbance, and cognitive impairment. These symptoms cause serious disruption in patients quality of life. In this review, we looked at the prevalence of depression and anxiety in breast cancer patients. The risk factors to develop mood and anxiety disorders in breast cancer, the effect of the different treatments against cancer on mood and the means to evaluate and treat mood and anxiety disorders in breast cancer patients were also analysed.
Design: We searched on the pubmed database for articles relating to mood and anxiety disorders and breast cancer. Then, we selected those which included a significant number of patients and used validated instruments. Most of the studies retained for analysis were published in the last 4 years.
Results: Depression and anxiety are frequent in breast cancer and often undertreated. Several factors have been identified as predictor of them. We reported the results obtained by studies which have investigated the link between the treatment against cancer mood and anxiety disorders. Clinicians are well equiped to assess depression and anxiety in breast cancer population. However, the current tendency is to elaborate specific instruments. Symptoms of depression and anxiety are quite improved by medication and psychotherapy.
Discussion: As the number of people with breast cancer will continue to increase over the time, efforts are needed to improve the care of these patients who are also affected by mood and anxiety disorders.