Many of the traditional symptoms of depression overlap with the symptoms of cancer, such as fatigue, weight changes, sleep problems, lack of concentration, lack of energy and guilt. Each patient must be evaluated properly, in the context of the cancer itself, as part of fully integrated care that links physical treatment and the psychological needs of the individual.
Screening patients for distress is as important as any other basic vital sign. It should be monitored at all points of care and should change according to what's happening in the lives of patients, their cancer and how they're responding to treatment. Distress screening is endorsed by the American College of Surgeons as well as the Institute of Medicine.