A cancer patient’s likelihood of survival can be affected by depression, according to a new University of B.C. study.

“We found an increased risk of death in patients who report more depressive symptoms than others, and also in patients who have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder com-pared to patients who have not,” said Jillian Satin, a UBC psychology graduate student who helped conduct research.

In the combined studies, the death rates were as much as 25 per cent higher in patients with depressive symptoms, and 39 per cent higher in patients diagnosed with major or minor depression.

The study was published online yesterday by the American Cancer Society journal Cancer.