Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Depression Risk for Partners of Breast Cancer Patients

Researchers Say Partners of Cancer Patients Should Be Screened for Depression

Screening Partners for Depression

Johansen and colleagues recommend screening partners of cancer patients for depression.

University of Washington professor of family and child nursing Frances Marcus Lewis, PhD, agrees. Lewis has also studied the emotional impact of breast cancer on the spouses of women being treated for the disease, but her research focused on depressed mood and not major depression.

Her study found an increase in depressed mood even among men whose wives had a low risk of dying from their disease.

Marcus Lewis is currently conducting a larger trial, funded by the National Cancer Institute, designed to identify interventions that can reduce depression among spouses of breast cancer patients.

“This is a cancer that is often perceived as not a big deal for spouses because it is so treatable,” she tells WebMD. “Diseases like late-stage Alzheimer’s get a different type of attention, because the emotional impact on spouses is widely recognized.”

Most of the women in her study had early-stage breast cancers and their chances for survival were very good.

“Even though this was the case, many men worried that they were going to lose their partner,” she says.

Lewis says male partners of breast cancer patients should be involved in discussions with doctors and in decisions about treatment, if the patient is comfortable with this.

And she says couples should set aside a time each week for what she calls “kitchen table discussions” to talk about how each of them is doing.

“I really do believe sharing feelings and thoughts -- even fears and other negative emotions -- can have a big impact on emotional and physical healing,” she says.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
 
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
 
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
VIDEO
Resolved To Quit Smoking
SLIDESHOW
 
Woman getting mammogram
Article
Screening Tests for Women
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
serious woman
Article
 
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow
SLIDESHOW