A study that came out of the University of Virginia Health System states that women who suffer from breast cancer are more likely to suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety if they are prescribed opioids. This is alarming news considering the fact that women with breast cancer are already likely to suffer from mental health issues–and exacerbating any of the issues that they already face should be discouraged.
Researchers also observed that women with breast cancer who use opioids are more likely to have a premature death, too. Again, this is disturbing and should be an encouragement to curtail the usage of opioids when they are not an absolute must.
They published their findings in the Journal of Oncology Practice. Another observation that was pointed out here was the idea that depression is significantly under-diagnosed in women with breast cancer. This is very common when it comes to mental health issues, unfortunately.
One of the goals that the researchers stated they had because of this finding was to help reduce the number of people that are being prescribed opioids, and to encourage doctors to help their patients pursue alternative methods of treating pain. Some of the proposed solutions included acupuncture, massage, and physical therapy. Other non-medicinal methods of pain management also exist, but these three have already reliably shown that they are effective. Acupressure has also been shown to help, although it’s not clear whether or not that would be beneficial in the instance of treating cancer related pain.
Oftentimes, people who suffer from cancer find that they are struggling in other areas of their health, too. Mental health can quickly diminish if someone is battling for their life against cancer.
This makes sense. It stands to reason that someone who suffers from major depression because of cancer would struggle with other areas of health, too. Depression can drag an individual down, and neglecting their own personal health is quite common. Over time, this can lead to exacerbated health issues and an increased severity of symptoms that might otherwise have been easily managed. When this occurs, it is really easy to understand why opioid addiction can occur. The opioids don’t just help to ease pain, but they can allow someone to self-medicate their anxious or depressed mindset.
When it comes to senior care, there are often competing health issues that need to be addressed. Cancer is one of the common things that seniors face, but it’s not the only one. If you are going to enlist the services of a caregiver, then it’s important that the individual who will be assisting you or a loved one has the appropriate training to better handle the health issues specific to your family. That might be cancer, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or something else. You want to be assured that the caregiver that is working with your loved one has the expertise necessary not just to help them get through the day, but also to deal with any emergency that might pop up that’s more specific to their diagnosis.