Cancer in Women and Mental Health

  • Kamalika RoyEmail author
  • Michelle B. Riba
Reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)


Cancer is a global health problem, affecting mortality and morbidity as well as the physical and mental well-being of the survivors. Among women of a specific age group, cancer is the most common cause of death in the United States. Although the incidence rate of all cancers in women remained somewhat stable in the United States in the last decade, the rate went up in other developed countries. In almost all developed countries, the death rate and the five-year survival rate steadily improved, partly due to sophisticated screening methods, early detection, and secondary prevention of metastasis. This trend is encouraging; however, it also emphasizes the importance of understanding the challenges faced by the survivors at different levels of diagnoses and treatment. Psychological well-being is a crucial part of the survivors’ journey through cancer diagnosis and treatment. In this chapter, we discuss the epidemiology of the most common and the most important psychiatric manifestations in the context of cancer in women. We also explore the psychological factors influencing risks and prognosis of cancer, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment approaches for psychiatric symptoms in cancer, the barriers in treatment at an individual and at the systems level, and the importance of palliative care, preservation of dignity, respect, and ethical standards.


Cancer Women Breast cancer Metastasis Depression Anxiety Catatonia Delirium NMDA Psychooncology Mental health 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryOregon Health and Science UniversityPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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