Oral mucositis in cancer patients: no benefit from chlorhexidine mouthwash

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This review of chlorhexidine (CHX) for prevention & treatment of oral mucositis included 12 RCTs with 9 contribution to the meta-analysis. CHX was not significantly effective in preventing mucositis or reducing its severity.

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Antidepressants for depression in cancer: Cochrane review highlights lack of evidence

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Kirsten Lawson reports on a recent Cochrane systematic review, which highlights a lack of high quality trials about the efficacy and safety of antidepressants for depression in cancer.

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Psychological support needed across cancer pathway

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In this blog, Alison Turner takes a look at guidance, which sets out recommendations for commissioners and providers to improve care and outcomes for people with cancer.

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Premature mortality in bipolar disorder

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Elena Marcus appraises a recent systematic review and meta-analysis of premature mortality in bipolar affective disorder, which finds that people with bipolar disorder have increased mortality rates compared with the general population.

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Alcohol consumption increased oral cancer risk

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This new review investigated the effect of alcohol on 23 cancer types. They included 572 case-control and cohort studies and using meta-analysis and a dose–response meta-regression model found relative risks for heavy drinkers compared with nondrinkers and occasional drinkers were 5.13 for oral and pharyngeal cancer, 4.95 for oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma, 1.44 for colorectal, 2.65 for laryngeal and 1.61 for breast cancer.

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Depression and cancer: Lancet papers on prevalence and integrated collaborative care

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Kirsten Lawson highlights a trio of Lancet papers on the prevalence of depression in cancer patients and the efficacy of a new treatment programme called ‘Depression Care for People with Cancer’.

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Psychiatric illnesses and some chronic physical illnesses are associated with an increased risk of self-harm and suicide

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Last month, the Department of Health published the ‘Closing the Gap’ report, which highlighted the importance of better integration of physical and mental health care at every level. The report specifically flagged up the need for frontline services to respond better to people who self-harm, and cited statistics that emphasise the cyclical nature of the [read the full story…]

Systematic review highlights a lack of evidence about using antidepressants to treat cancer patients with depression

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Having a life threatening disease such as cancer and undergoing gruelling treatment can have detrimental psychological effects. According to a recent review, for instance, the prevalence of depression among cancer patients is 10.8%, when assessed by a standardised clinical assessment (Ng et al. 2011). The authors of this meta-analysis make the argument that established criteria [read the full story…]

#MindfulnessMonday – Mindfulness proves effective in depression and anxiety, but is not superior to traditional CBT

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Last week, Kirsten Lawson blogged about mindfulness-based stress reduction as a treatment for breast cancer.  We have featured a number of blogs on mindfulness in the last couple of years, including a piece about the use of Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). MBCT is recommended by NICE to prevent relapse in people who have already experienced three [read the full story…]