Patients with cancer are at increased risk for both suicidal ideation and completed suicide due to a combination of biological and psychological factors that must be addressed to increase quality of life. More research is needed to determine the best methods of screening, evaluation, and treatment for suicidal thoughts and actions in this population.
– Cancers with the highest suicide risk include head and neck, lung, and pancreas.
– Health care providers do not feel adequately prepared to assess patients for suicidality.
– Increased risk is associated with older age, male gender, increased paid, lack of social supports, preexisting mood disorders, hopelessness; iatrogenic and biological factors must be assessed and addressed.