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With cancer, sadness and grief are normal, but sometimes these feelings last a long time and get in the way of day-to-day activities. Clinical depression occurs in one in four people with cancer, and is a treatable illness. If family and friends notice any of the signs from the list below, they should encourage the cancer patient to get help for depression. Treatment for depression includes medications, counseling, a combination of medications and counseling, or specialized treatments. Getting treatment for depression can greatly increase the quality of life of the cancer patient.
If the cancer patient has had cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, the patient's eating habits may change. Sleeping habits may also change, as chemotherapy can suck the energy right out of you, so before recommending help, know what medications and treatments the cancer patient is on, and note if there are other signs of clinical depression. When in doubt, always schedule an evaluation.