The aim of this study was to determine the mental health status of patients with cancer in the Center of Special Diseases. According to the findings of this study, half of the subjects had and suffered from mental disorders. The findings of this study are consistent with other countries in terms of psychiatric disorders in cancer patients [12 & 13]. In the study by Sarafino, above-normal occurrence of psychiatric disorders has been reported among cancer patients. This study examines the detection of psychiatric disorders that occur after the diagnosis of serious illnesses such as cancer. It has shown that there is an irrefutable association between depression, anxiety, and stress associated with the onset of cancer among patients . Most studies show that mental illnesses among cancer patients is 20-40% [15-20]; however, the findings of this study reported higher prevalence of psychiatric disorders among cancer patients, that is, above 50% [21-22]. The difference in findings is due to differences in the type of cancer, different research methods, retrospective or prospective studies, the characteristics of the studied population and sample size. In addition, based on the findings of the present study, the patients were suspected to have physical symptoms, dysfunction in social performance and depression. None of the patients was suspected of anxiety and insomnia. Lueboonthavatchi has introduced the prevalence of depression and anxiety on top of the list of psychiatric disorders . Given that depression disorder was identified in this study, but the anxiety was not included in the list of identified disorders, this could indicate the need for special attention to vulnerable groups and the design of more specialized studies in this regard. A number of studies have come up with different results from this study. For example, Hadi et al. concluded that the prevalence of depression and anxiety was not significantly different between the case group, patients with breast cancer and the control group including healthy women . Of course, the point to be made about this study is that the group was made up of women who had not been diagnosed for one year and had not received any treatment such as metastasis.
The results of this study showed that the demographic factors had no significant effect on the probability o developing mental disorders in the studied patients. In the study of Taqizadeh et al., performed on cancer patients in two educational hospitals of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, there were no significant correlation between the level of education, marital status, living in rural or urban areas, and mental disorders in cancer patients . In a study by Dabrowsky, aimed at investigating mental disorders in 268 patients with breast cancer, there was no significant relationship between demographic factors and mental disorders . Other studies carried out on gastric ulcer patients were consistent with the findings of this study . In some studies, a significant relationship between female genders, low level of education, advanced stages of disease, young ages, low socioeconomic status and low social support with mental disorders in cancer patients [28-35]. Differences in sample size, types of cancer, and cultural and social aspects may account for the differences in the findings. It is worth noting that behaviors, habits, and lifestyle can affect health and well-being. Anything from smoking, excessive drinking or poor diets, or poor personal hygiene can be among these factors. Kuzaka and Maritimo’s study was indicative of the impact of people’s lifestyle on functioning of their immune system. They showed that the immune system functioning of those who have a healthy lifestyle including exercising, adequate sleep, not smoking, and a balanced diet tends to be stronger .
Of the limitations of this study is the study design which is a cross-sectional one in which patients’ follow-up and intervention have not been performed. By designing interventionist studies on high-risk patients, one can obtain better results. In addition, it would be better to separate types of cancers to obtain more accurate results for each disease.