Published: 02-04-2020 13:14 | Updated: 02-04-2020 13:14

Stress during cancer diagnostic workup

Qing Shen’s thesis aims to increase our understanding of cancer diagnostic workup, by investigating different stress-related health outcomes during the critical time period of cancer evaluation, diagnosis and treatment, and also provide evidence for a potential effective treatment approach to attenuate excessive risks of stress-related health outcomes.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is an extremely stressful life event and cancer patients have previously been reported to have excessive risks of stress-related health outcomes including suicide. The time period between the first suspicion of a potential cancer and the cancer diagnosis or start of primary cancer treatment is commonly defined as “cancer diagnostic workup”. This critical time window is especially stressful, mainly due to the uncertainty about the final diagnosis.

The stress of the diagnostic process and its health consequences may also apply to a larger group of the population who are evaluated for but never receive a cancer diagnosis.

In her thesis, Qing confirms that a cancer diagnostic workup is associated with increased risks of a spectrum of stress-related health outcomes. Such increased risks of health outcomes, including injuries, psychiatric disorders and cardiovascular diseases, are noted for a large group of individuals being evaluated for a potential cancer, regardless of the final diagnosis. It represents therefore a great disease burden for society. Interventions, such as low-dose aspirin intake, might be effective in reducing such risks (e.g. risk of unnatural death), after cancer diagnosis.

On April 17, Qing will defend her thesis “Stress during cancer diagnostic workup”. Qing’s opponent is Professor Ping Qin from National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention at the University of Oslo. Her supervisors are Fang Fang, Maria Schelin, Yang Cao and Pär Sparén.

Time: 09:00

Location: Lecture hall Atrium, Nobels väg 12B, Karolinska Institutet, Solna

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Read the thesis in KI's open archive.

Qing Shen

Affiliated to research


Qing Shen Affiliated to research