ACS: As many as 25% of cancer patients get clinically depressed - KMSP-TV

ACS: As many as 25% of cancer patients get clinically depressed

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

"I'm going to die. The rug is just pulled out from under you," said Mo Meldrum.

It's the first thought she remembers when being diagnosed with breast cancer 22 years ago.

"You had this life. It was probably quite full. You didn't have time to take French lessons or learn a sport, but all of a sudden you make time for cancer," Meldrum said.

"It's a very scary word for patients. It's a very insecure, unsure time for patients," said Lisa Chism from the Karmanos Women's Wellness Clinic.

According to the American Cancer Society, as many as 25 percent of cancer patients slip into clinical depression. Symptoms include a feeling of emptiness for most of the day, changes in sleep or appetite or thoughts of suicide. Treatments can include medication or counseling, but knowledge can help prevent it.

"The more knowledge patients have about their disease and their prognosis and their treatment and that there are treatments for every stage of cancer," Chism said.

If knowledge is one half of the equation, support is the other. Like what you find at the Komen Detroit Race for the Cure. The annual event raises more than $2 million for breast cancer supportive research.

For Meldrum, who is now in charge of the race, the impact will never be as great as the first time she participated.

"My first race was Detroit's first race in 1992. I was just into treatment. I was bald. I was scared. I thought surely I would be dead, and all of a sudden I saw all these people around me, and they were having a wonderful time, and they were giving me pats on the back. It just turns your head and your heart in a way like nothing else can," she said.

If you recognize any of those symptoms of depression, you need to talk to your doctor.

If you would like to experience some of that support you find at Race for the Cure, join us on Saturday, May 18. You can register then if you haven't done so yet. It's all happening at Comerica Park. Click here for more information.

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