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Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 617–621 | Cite as

Clinical and epidemiological factors associated with suicide in colorectal cancer

  • Thuy T. Pham
  • Asif M. Talukder
  • Nathaniel J. Walsh
  • Andrew G. Lawson
  • Andrew J. Jones
  • Jessica L. BishopEmail author
  • Edward J. Kruse
Original Article
  • 140 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

While increased suicidal tendencies among cancer patients have been well documented, this study aims to examine suicide rates and factors associated with suicide specifically in patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).

Methods

Patients diagnosed with CRC between the years of 1988–2010 were selected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Result (SEER) database. Comparisons with the general population were done using the National Center for Disease Control registry.

Results

One thousand three hundred eighty-one suicides among 884,529 patients were identified, with a standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of 1.53 (95% CI, 1.13–1.33) compared to the general population. No statistically significant difference in suicide rate was found with respect to age, marital status, socio-economic status, surgical intervention, histologic subtype, or stage at diagnosis. Within the CRC population, Whites were significantly more likely to commit suicide than non-Whites (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.89–2.75; P < 0.001), and males were significantly more likely than females (OR, 5.635; 95% CI, 4.85–6.54; P < 0.001). Most suicides occurred in patients with distal lesions in the sigmoid/rectosigmoid junction (P < 0.001). SMRs for CRC patients were 4.24 for females (95% CI, 3.69–4.86), 1.35 for males (95% CI, 1.28–1.43), 0.38 for African-Americans (95% CI, 0.28–0.52), 1.77 for Whites (95% CI, 1.68–1.87), and 0.90 for other races (95% CI, 0.72–1.12).

Conclusion

Identification of risk factors associated with suicide among patients with CRC is an important step in developing screening strategies and management of psychosocial stressors. These results could be helpful in formulating a comprehensive suicide risk scoring system for screening all cancer patients.

Keywords

Colorectal cancer Colon cancer Rectal cancer SEER database Suicide risk 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryMedical College of GeorgiaAugustaUSA
  2. 2.Medical College of GeorgiaAugustaUSA

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