• Aspen Family Counseling

Cancer Diagnosis Increases Suicide Risk


Authored by Barry Erath, MSSW, LCSW

Barry Erath is the Clinic Director and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.


Patients presented with cancer diagnoses are likely to experience fairly immediate reactions, both physical and psychological. On the one hand, a cancer diagnosis has been found to increase the likelihood of dying from a cardiovascular cause (heart attack); on the other, being diagnosed with cancer is associated with an increased risk of committing suicide. The risk of suicide begins in the first week of a cancer diagnosis and persists up to one year and beyond, while the risk of cardiovascular death lasts about six months for those with cancer diagnoses. This information should lead to an increased awareness of the possibility of both outcomes and preventive treatments for each. These associations are no longer though to be consequences of treatment.


A cancer diagnosis and suicidal thoughts are both urgent reasons to make an appointment with us right away. Our compassionate counselors can help you through this crisis in your life by providing proven techniques and a safe space. You deserve help during this difficult time in your life. In addition to help with depression, we can also help you with fear, anxiety, grief, or stress.


If you would like an appointment or if you have any questions, please call 608-742- 5020 today for an appointment. Our address is 2639 New Pinery Rd., Suite 1. Offering you and your family compassionate and professional advice.


P.S.: A cancer diagnosis is a major stress factor in that some patients view it as a virtual “death sentence,” which may no longer necessarily be the case.

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