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Exploring Depressive Symptoms and Cancer Worries in a High-Volume Cancer Genetics Clinic: What Are the Roles of Age and Cancer Diagnosis?

This paper reports on a large-scale retrospective data analytic study that represented a collaboration between Psycho-oncology and Cancer Genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. This relatively large analysis (N=6,524) found that adolescent/young adult patients (AYAs; ages 18-39) reported significantly higher depressive symptoms and cancer worries compared to all other age and cancer diagnostic groups, with the exception of adults ages 40 or older who were also diagnosed with cancer during the AYA period. These findings support other research on the importance of identifying and monitoring long-term mental health risks for patients with cancer who are diagnosed during the AYA period.