Prostate cancer diagnosis can boost suicide risk

February 3, 2010 2:32:10 PM PST
A prostate cancer diagnosis can have a devastating effect on a patient's mental health. A new study finds it raises a man's risk for either suicide or fatal heart attacks.

Scientists say the results aren't surprising. They say a cancer diagnosis is acutely distressful and can cause a number of changes in cardiovascular risk factors.

Also, if someone has an underlying health condition, the diagnosis could drive someone to suicide.

The study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute says doctors should know a cancer diagnosis is a critical time for them to intervene with their patient.