By Dr. Brian McDonoughSponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There is no doubt that the diagnosis of cancer can be one that is emotionally disturbing.

According to a new report in the Journal Cancer, there is now evidence it may be more disturbing than previously thought, and it could have a long-term impact.

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According to a study of over 200 people, more than 20 percent of patients with cancer had symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a month after diagnosis.

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In addition, the symptoms persisted long-term more than 33 percent of the time.

This is important not just because of quality of life, but it also may have an impact on therapy and the patient’s acceptance of, or reluctance to accept, various treatments.

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The bottom line here is that emotional distress needs to be carefully reviewed with all patients, but in the case of cancer, it definitely can have an impact.