Researchers have found that when a person is given a cancer diagnosis it can have deadly consequences.  According to a new study a cancer diagnosis can increase the risk of suicide, heart attack and stroke.

The Swedish study followed more than 6 million adult men and women and 786 of those were  diagnosed with various types of cancer and during the 15-years that followed and compared to their cancer free counterparts those with the cancer diagnosis had a 12.6 percent higher risk of suicide and a 5.6 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death from heart attack, stroke or heart failure.

It is suspected that a cancer diagnosis is a major stressor, and one that immediately affects the risk of critical, fatal outcomes.  The risk of suicide and cardiovascular death was highest the week following a cancer diagnosis and decreased over time.  Co-author of the study Dr. Murray Mittleman, says that hearing a a cancer diagnosis can be a very big shock.

The study went on to report that this kind of news can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.  Other research suggests more than half of patients are traumatized by their cancer diagnoses.


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