Depression can affect anyone. But it’s quite common in people facing pancreatic cancer. However, depression is a treatable condition that can be managed with prescription medications and/or professional counseling.

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network stresses the importance of speaking with a professional counselor and your doctor if you think you are depressed.

Some of the signs include:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in daily life activities
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty making decisions and concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased energy
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Hopelessness or guilt
  • Negative thoughts and behaviors

It’s important to note that it’s common for a person who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer to feel sad, anxious and angry, and that having some or all of these symptoms does not mean that a person is depressed.

PanCAN Patient Services provides pancreatic cancer patients and caregivers with professional counseling resources that can connect them with a professional counselor in their area to talk about their feelings and concerns with depression. We can also connect them with a local support group or other survivors and caregivers with whom they can share experiences.

Because of the prevalence of depression worldwide – and the stigma often associated – the World Health Organization is focusing on the illness for its World Health Day this year on April 7.

World Health Day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization, and it provides a unique opportunity to mobilize action around a specific health topic of concern to people all over the world.

The bottom line as it relates to depression and pancreatic cancer? Support for the pancreatic cancer patient is critical to improve quality of life and overall well-being. Having a support system of caregivers, family, friends, healthcare professionals and a PanCAN Patient Services Case Manager is important to address and manage the needs of the patient.

If you are a patient, caregiver or family member experiencing signs of depression, contact a PanCAN Patient Services Case Manager for information and resources, including a fact sheet on the topic.