Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. According to the WHO, the next decade will record a substantial, over 50% increase in cancer related illnesses. Due to the advances in the efficiency of detection and treatment methods, more than two thirds of the adult patients diagnosed with cancer may be expected to survive more than five years. Consequently, the investigation of factors affecting the quality of cancer patientsâ physical and psychological functioning, and their interactive effect on the progress of illness becomes imperative. The major aim of the present paper is to delineate the major findings regarding the implications of cancer-related distress, and changes in the quality of life and well-being of cancer patients. We will discuss the prevalence, possible risk factors, and implications of cancer-related depression, anxiety, suicide, as well as the most important and effective methods in psycho-social care that ameliorate these forms of mental-health malfunctioning.
KEYWORDS: cancer, distress, depression, anxiety, suicide, quality of life, well-being.